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Public awareness of science

Analysis and Comment (29)

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…
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…
Demanding climate data won’t provide a new window into global warming. nasa hq photo/flickr

Access to climate research data ordered

When it comes to obtaining research data, Canadian academic Steve Easterbrook said it best: “Any fool knows you don’t get data from a scientist by using FOI requests, you do it by stroking their ego a…
How we frame the climate change debate is important. Modified image: HamishM/muffet/flickr

You’ve been framed: six new ways to understand climate change

Mike Hulme of the University of East Anglia, the institution at the centre of “Climategate” and the focus of a recent data Freedom of Information request, responds to Clearing up the Climate Debate. There…
Christopher Monckton deliberately misleads the public on climate change. AAP

The chief troupier: the follies of Mr Monckton

CLEARING UP THE CLIMATE DEBATE: Associate Professor John Abraham puts Christopher Monckton’s climate claims to the test. This summer, the people of Australia will yet again be treated to a circus tour…
Be honest: when’s the last time you googled “science”? teotwawki/Flickr

Brand Science is dead, and it’s time to break up the company

Ask us what we mean by “science” and you’ll find us a little circumspect. In fact, we think the word “science” is close to useless. This might seem odd, given we work at the Australian National Centre…
Could artists and scientists be enjoying a more fruitful union? Ben Stansall/AFP

Art and science: make love, not war

When art and science come together, the relationship tends to be uneven, and too often art becomes the unintended junior partner. As researchers working at the interface between art and science, we have…
Scientists need to do a better job of communicating with non-scientists. Brewbooks/Flickr

Forget what you’ve read, science can’t prove a thing

Do scientists have a language problem? Do policy makers have hearing issues? It would certainly seem so. Of late there have been frequent lamentations about scientists' failure to make their case to the…
Why is science so hard to communicate? Andrew Huff/Flickr

A better formula for science communication

Foundation Essay – Getting certain points across can be difficult. And yet democracies don’t function properly in the absence of broad, public discussion based on well-sourced information. Especially when…

Research and News (1)