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What science becomes news?

A question almost constantly on the minds of (well, most, I guess) science communicators is: “Is this piece of research newsworthy? Will anyone CARE about it, and read what I write on the subject?” And, as a general rule, the bigger and more important the news outlet, the more crucial that question is. Thankfully, people are looking into that very question! Paige Brown, a science communicator herself, started conducting a survey into the subject last [...]

Scientific collaboration between researchers – map

Following my last post, which talked about work which has been done ranking the excellence of scientific organisations around the world, there’s this: a map of scientific collaboration between researchers. Developed by Olivier H. Beauchesne, who makes really interesting data-visualising maps, it looks at scientific collaboration between cities (and their researchers) all over the world. As Oliver puts it: For example, if a UCLA researcher published a paper with a colleague at the University of [...]

Software Carpentry Bootcamp – a delicious name for a delicious thing

Friends! Readers! Random people who ended up here alone and confused! As hopefully all of you* know by now, the 2013 eResearch Symposium is next week in Christchurch.  Started in 2010, this illustrious and awesome event is all about the burgeoning field, of, well, eResearch. Which is still in the process, in many ways, of being fully and tightly defined, but can loosely be thought of as ‘research with a digital/tech element to it – [...]

The danger of science denial

This, ladies and gentlemen. THIS. Journalist Michael Specter gives an impassioned TED Talk on the danger of science denial. A brilliant talk, and something to be shared as widely as possible. _Especially_ with the anti-science people you know! Vaccine-autism claims, “Frankenfood” bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public’s growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress. [And no, [...]

Journals and personalities

Today, one of my favourite science (t)witterers, @enniscath, posed an intriguing question: Is it normal to assign personalities to scientific journals? e.g. Curr Biol is an enthusiastic extrovert; Nucl Acid Res is dull but worthy — Cath Ennis (@enniscath) February 19, 2013 I think it’s a marvellous idea :) I instantly proposed a thought… @enniscath heh, and Journ Roy Soc Interface is the weird ‘artsy’ kid with the mohawk and pocket protector :P — aimee [...]

It’s Ada Lovelace Day!

Today, October 16th, is Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace, for those who didn’t already know (and you all do, right? * wink *), also called Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, is one of the shining stars in mathematics and computer history. Yep, you heard right – a _girl_ was incredibly good at maths :P She was born and lived during the 1800s, and it known primarily for her work on Babbage’s analytical machine*. Which [...]

Measuring the value of science

UPDATE: Please see the end of this piece, where I give examples of possible ‘good’ metrics The subject of innovation/science/tech/R&D, and its contribution to a country’s economy and society, appears to be top of mind for policymakers, funding bodies and scientific bodies all over the world. In New Zealand alone, MSI has set a target of doubling the value of science and innovation for New Zealand. Of course, this begs the question – how would [...]

Come to Science in the City!

Something pretty exciting’s happening this Thursday, 12th April, in Auckland (New Zealand) :) Yep, Science in the City is taking place, from 9am to 8pm, at The Cloud. But what, I hear you cry, is this ‘Science in the City’?  Well, NIWA and a bunch of other sciencey organisations* are going to be taking over The Cloud to show off some of their awesome science.  And what they get up to, and discover, and research, [...]

So you think science is hogwash?

I think this piece almost perfectly sums up why I struggle not to become Quiet and Sarcastic* with anti-science people.   You stare into your high definition plasma screen monitor, type into your cordless keyboard then hit enter which causes your computer to convert all that visual data into a binary signal that’s processed by millions of precise circuits, which is then converted to a frequency modulated singal to reach you wireless router where it [...]

TOSP Episode 22: February 27th 2012

Hello, and welcome to a very watery TOSP :) [Original post on the Sciblogs The Official Sciblogs Podcast site] This week, Elf and aimee talk of things watery – watery planets, flying squid and plankton blooms – as well as new FTL neutrino info (what may have gone wrong), genius computer software, bioscience’s contribution to NZ’s economy, plus a new brilliant site for science-based ebooks and apps, and the tree of diversification! PODCAST HERE [Did [...]