Public awareness of science

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Chief scientist of Australia Professor Ian Chubb during his address to the National Press Club in Canberra. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Aspiring to something magnificent with science in Australia

Science matters and is important for Australia's future but there is evidence mounting that we are falling behind the rest of the world.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is just one scientist celeb who already unofficially does the job of a science laureate. John Roling

Science celebrities are our de facto science laureates

A bill before congress would create a science laureate position akin to the poet laureate for poetry. But some science stars are already essentially doing the job now.
A screenshot from one of the most popular science channels on YouTube – but what makes these videos so popular? YouTube/AsapScience

What makes a popular science video on YouTube

Everyone's looking for an audience for their videos on YouTube, and there are plenty of science videos out there. But not all are popular so what makes one more interesting than another?
Average Americans don’t view science issues the same way scientists do. Man image via www.shutterstock.com.

Scientists and public disagree, but let’s not get too excited

A new set of surveys of scientists and the public finds the two groups have widely different views about scientific issues. Conducted by the Pew Research Center in collaboration with the American Association…
Bored with science. Flickr/manwithbeard

Why do some people not care about science?

Surveys on public attitudes to science regularly tell us that there are swathes of the public that simply seem to not care about science, despite our best effort to engage them. But perhaps the issue is…
Young people are harbouring misconceptions about climate change. But what can be done about it? Thinking image www.shutterstock.com

What do young people really know about climate change?

The next generation will be the ones to feel the increasing effects of climate change. But how much do they really know about it? After all, it’s one thing to say: yes, I believe in climate change. But…
A renewed interest in citizen science could help engage the wider public in research projects. Mount Rainier NPS

Citizen scientists are nothing new, and their value will only grow

Academic discussions of citizen science are all the rage right now (see here, and here, and here). While most describe the successes of individual projects, none (to my knowledge) have taken the long view…
Many pro-science arguments rest on the belief science is simply a “very good thing”. Raul Lazaro

Science in crisis? Go on then, prove it

Litanies about how poorly science and the science “brand” are doing have become a little too common for my liking. The most recent notable example came courtesy of the EU’s Science, it’s a girl thing campaign…
There’s knowing science, then knowing how to teach it. B Rosen

Teaching the nature of science (and keeping students engaged)

Last week’s Health of Australian Science report, by the Chief Scientist of Australia Ian Chubb, has again highlighted the issue of declining student engagement in science in primary and secondary schools…
Scientists and politicians rely on each other – so how best to develop that relationship? mayhem

Scientists and policy-makers: it’s time to bridge the gap

“Our lack of ability to position our argument in the public means science has not influenced public debate as it should.” So said Australian National University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young at…
You may be home late if the entire universe is your test tube. morgantj

Science can seem like madness, but there’s always method

THE STATE OF SCIENCE: How does science work? And how can we experiment on things that don’t fit in a lab? Dr Will Howard examines the many faces of the scientific method. As adults, our understanding of…
Shutting down research during National Science Week is a little jarring. same indifference/Flickr

Chopping forest research: does NSW Government care about science?

You really have to wonder what kind of message the New South Wales Government is trying to send about its attitude to science. Was the announcement of funding cuts to research during Science Week just…
Australians want to learn more about science - it’s more interesting than sport. travelskerricks/Flickr

Science education the key to a better public debate

Late last year, the media reported the surprising results of an ANU poll. Apparently Australians are “more interested in science than sport”! But the really interesting news was a small clarification in…
Polar bears are at the centre of a scientific fracas in the US. AAP

Polar bear scientist on thin ice in Arctic imbroglio

Something does not add up. About two weeks ago, a scientist working for the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation (BOEMRE), Dr Charles Monnett, was placed on administrative leave…

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