Andrew Maynard

Last run for the Mind The Science Gap blog

by Andrew Maynard November 18, 2013

After nearly two years and four hundred posts, the science communication course at the University of Michigan that feeds the Mind The Science Gap blog is coming to and end.  In between running a department, directing a research center, teaching, and actually doing research, something had to go.  And sadly, Mind The Science Gap was [...]

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When to name and shame on Social Media, and when to show compassion…

by Andrew Maynard October 15, 2013

This is a piece I had hoped not to post – at least so soon – and still feel uneasy about, as it refers to events that will probably cause hurt to some people.  But as I have been called out on Twitter and discussion around the events is gaining some momentum, a little clarification [...]

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Talk to the Hand: Risk Bites, six months on

by Andrew Maynard May 26, 2013

From Risk Sense: Six months ago, Risk Bites launched as a somewhat quirky YouTube experiment in science communication. Twenty-seven videos on, how are things going? Risk Bites was originally conceived as a way of pulling some rather cool insights into the science behind human health risks out of dusty halls of academia and into the [...]

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Carbon nanotubes as a potent cancer promoter – new data from NIOSH

by Andrew Maynard March 14, 2013

On Monday, the National Institute for Occupational Safety released new data on the potential role multi-walled carbon nanotubes play as a cancer-promoter – a substance that promotes the development of cancer in the presence of a carcinogen.  In the study, mice were injected with methylcholanthrene – a cancer initiating agent – and subsequently exposed to [...]

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Top 10 Most Promising Technology Trends 2013, from the World Economic Forum

by Andrew Maynard February 14, 2013

The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has just published its annual list of the top ten emerging technology trends.  Based on expert assessment from council members and others, the list provides insight into technologies that have the potential to have a significant economic and social impact in the near to mid [...]

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At the frontiers of the science of health risk – five areas to watch

by Andrew Maynard January 2, 2013

Cross-posted from Risk Sense This week’s Risk Bites video takes a roller-coaster ride through some of the hottest topics in risk science. Admittedly this is a somewhat personal list, and rather constrained by being compressed into a two and a half minute video for a broad audience. But it does touch on some of the [...]

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On the benefits of wearing a hat while dancing naked, and other insights into the science of risk

by Andrew Maynard December 23, 2012

Risk Bites – my new foray into the world of YouTube informal education – was officially launched a few weeks ago (although the transition from “unofficial” to “official” simply meant posting new videos more regularly!).  The channel is an experiment in overcoming the tedium and seeming irrelevance of much academic online content by unbundling the [...]

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Open access academics: Experiments with YouTube, the Science of Risk, and Professional Amateurism

by Andrew Maynard October 14, 2012

YouTube intrigues me.  Having been dragged into the YouTube culture by my teenagers over the past two years, I’ve been fascinated by the shift from seemingly banal content to a sophisticated social medium. But what has really grabbed my attention is the growth of YouTube as a unique and powerful platform for informal education which [...]

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Why should I wash my hands if I only pee?

by Andrew Maynard September 24, 2012

Cross-posted from Risk Sense “Why should I wash my hands if I only pee?” It’s the sort of question most parents have had to handle at some time – especially if you have pretentious kids who delight in telling you how pure pee is! It’s also the subject of the first post in this semester’s [...]

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Jumping the gap between a US and UK high school education

by Andrew Maynard July 29, 2012

Tomorrow, my 16 year old daughter is leaving her home in the US for the UK. She’ll be there for the next two years while she studies for her A levels.  It was a heart-rending decision for my wife and I to agree to her living apart from us in a different country.  But the [...]

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“We took a rat apart and rebuilt it as a jellyfish”

by Andrew Maynard July 22, 2012

Sometimes you read a science article and it sends a shiver tingle down your spine.  That was my reaction this afternoon reading Ed Yong’s piece on a paper just published in Nature Biotechnology by Janna Nawroth, Kevin Kit Parker and colleagues. The gist of the work is that Parker’s team have created a hybrid biological [...]

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Social Media and the art of Academic Juggling

by Andrew Maynard July 19, 2012

It had to happen – despite deluding myself that I could squeeze everything into a 140 hour work week, something’s going to have to give.  And that something is going to be regular posts on 2020 Science.  I’ll still be posting here, just not as frequently.  Chairing a department, directing a center, teaching, research, doing [...]

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YouTube does the the Higgs Boson – Science communication on the quick!

by Andrew Maynard July 5, 2012

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement on the Higgs Boson, some of YouTube’s most viewed science communicators have been burning the midnight oil to explain why this is so exciting.  Wrapping up this series of posts on YouTube, I thought I would call out three prominent YouTubers who were at VidCon this last week, [...]

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VidCon 2012: Online learning is where online music was five years ago

by Andrew Maynard June 30, 2012

YouTube is gearing up to transform the way we learn.  At least that’s the message that came across loud and clear at this morning’s VidCon breakout panel on education. In an overflowing room of well over two hundred conference goers, head of YouTube Education Angela Lin led a panel of five leading video makers in [...]

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VidCon 2012: Community-grown science communicators smoking’ it!

by Andrew Maynard June 29, 2012

I‘m over half way through the first day at VidCon 2012, and thought I would jot a few notes down on the science scene here.  OK, so maybe 7,000 people haven’t come to the Anaheim Convention Center to hear the latest on the Higgs boson and other interesting science stuff (although you’d be surprised by [...]

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VidCon and YouTube Science

by Andrew Maynard June 19, 2012

Having been initiated into the alternative world of teen YouTube culture last year, I am once again being dragged along to VidCon – the Comic-Con of the online video community.  This year – the third year for VidCon – promises to be bigger than better than ever with around 6,000 signed up for a two [...]

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Top ten reasons professors become chairs!

by Andrew Maynard June 13, 2012

A good colleague sent these to me the other day – I think I’m #1, but I wouldn’t rule out #7! Top Ten Reasons Professors Become Chairs* 10.  Because you don’t want someone else to do it, even though you don’t. 9.  Because you’re burned out teaching the same thing over and over again for [...]

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Fool for a year!

by Andrew Maynard May 31, 2012

Fool!  At least that was what came out of my wife’s mouth as we were discussing my latest failure to say “no!”  In this case, it was a request to take over as Interim Chair of the University of Michigan School of Public Health Environmental Health Sciences Department. You know that feeling where volunteers are [...]

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Communicating about communicating science at the National Academies

by Andrew Maynard May 22, 2012

I‘ve just spent the last two days at the National Academies of Science listening to a long strong of folks talk about the Science of Science Communication.  It was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me as I wasn’t a speaker and so could just kick back and listen – but I did get [...]

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Think Design – an alternative take on nanotech (in 11 minutes!)

by Andrew Maynard May 22, 2012

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a “TED style talk” on nanotechnology for the University of Michigan Environmental Health Sciences department 125th anniversary.  What they got was a short talk on “thinking small”: The other talks in the series are also worth checking out – covering topics as diverse as epigenetics, cancer, [...]

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