ESO/José Francisco Salgado (josefrancisco.org)
In a world of blogs, twitter and open data, scientists need to think again about how they'd communicate a discovery of alien life.
People get suspicious when ethically fraught science is discussed behind closed doors.
DNA image via www.shutterstock.com.
A recent closed meeting about building synthetic genomes raised suspicions about just what scientists were planning, away from the public eye.
Printer George Howe shows the first edition of the Sydney Gazette to Governor Philip Gidley King, in a feature window at the Mitchell Library.
Reproduced with permission of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, Digital Order Number: a6509002
What science issues did Australia's first newspaper - edited by a convict - discuss in its letter pages? The same ones we talk about today: the environment, education and health.
So many questions on climate change.
Research showing that more than 90% of climate scientists agree that we’re causing global warming prompted plenty of questions. And the authors are only too happy to answer.
There’s a lot of incentive to hype scientific findings but in the end nobody wins. Overselling findings can undermine the authority of scientists as well as the credibility of the sources and ultimately deceive or even endanger the public.
Sometimes scientists, the media and the general public inadvertently conspire to oversell science, and that is bad for us all.
An overwhelming majority of those in the know believe coal fired power, such as from this Victorian plant, are contributing to global warming.
A new study confirms that 97% of publishing climate scientists believe humans are causing global warming.
Sometimes science needs to look at the bigger picture in order to best influence public policy.
Science is about more than protons, genes and neurons. Sometimes a bigger picture can help us make better decisions when it comes to public policy.
Alan Alda has a passion for talking about science.
World Science Festival New York
Everyone loves to hear a story, says actor Alan Alda, and that's what every scientists should learn if they are to better communicate their work to a wider audience.
If someone is spouting pseudo-science, should scientists risk legitimising them by getting into a debate with them?
Some scientists refuse to debate or appear with those they consider to be unscientific. But is this the best approach to combat anti-science narratives?
Extra, extra! The embargo’s lifted, read all about it.
Newspapers image via www.shutterstock.com.
Sometimes big research news bypasses the usual scientific publishing process. Here's why that's not good for scientists or the public.
Some people just refuse to believe in climate change no matter what the science says.
No matter how much evidence scientists present in support of climate change there are those who refuse to believe it. They think it's all part of the consprarcy theory.
This is what happens when science writing gets too turgid.
Science can be fascinating and exciting. But much science writing is dull and obscure. Here are some of the tricks scientists often use to suck the joy out of science.
Media savvy researchers see television as a particularly useful way to reach new audiences.
A former dean of Sydney University’s Faculty of Medicine, where I work, once appointed me to a role where I was to try and increase the news media profile of our staff’s research and to encourage them…
Um, you figured out what by doing which?
Woman image via www.shutterstock.com.
Nobel Prize-winning science is almost by definition arcane and complex. While these esoteric fields have their moment in the spotlight, does it matter if the rest of us understand?
All we are is just a link in the chain?
Chain via www.shutterstock.com.
Missing links make a good story, but not good science. Outdated metaphors don't help us understand the rapid evolution of infectious diseases such as flu and malaria.
The more academics fear being involved in media storms, the less they feel free to explore topics they consider important.
Public engagement of academics has increased enormously in recent decades. But this new level of engagement is producing problems and conflicts for which many academics are ill-prepared.
Electricity is only one of the marvels brought to us by science. But even that’s not enough to convince some of its value.
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty's new book explores why so many people today selectively reject science, and in the process gives a behind the scenes look at how science really works.
Swing and a miss.
There's no evidence that cloud cover affects bowling at all, but everyone involved with cricket seems to think it does.
A researcher buried in records requests can’t attend to actual science.
Man image via www.shutterstock.com
Some activists use open records requests to bully researchers – distracting them from their actual work and silencing others who don't want to draw attention.
A gigantic sunspot almost 130,000 km across captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory on October 23, 2014.
The recent claim that we might enter a mini ice age in 15 years is not only bad science, but it represents a failure of communication by both scientists and journalists.