4 mins

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

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 ...

Wonders and Worries – Retro nano at its best!

Here’s an introduction to the “wonders and worries of nanotechnology” that I think is rather brilliant: It’s part of a series being produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education network (NISE Net). The series is designed to stimulate discussions addressing the societal and ethical implication of nanotechnology – but ...

Exploring speculated catastrophe and mundane reality

Credit: James King Last semester, speculative designer James King worked with myself and a small group of science and public health students at the University of Michigan to explore how a fusion of science and creative art can lead to new insights and modes of communication.  The exercise was part of the A World of ...

2 mins

Spare a comment – student science writers need your help!

In a little over a week, ten of my University of Michigan Masters of Public Health students will embark on an intensive  science blogging course – and they need your help! Every week for ten weeks, each student will take a recent scientific publication or emerging area of scientific interest, and write a public blog ...

3 mins

Brain candy for the intellectually incapacitated – the sequel

Two years ago I posted links to ten (relatively) mindless online “games” as a bit of fun, and as something not too taxing to indulge in over the holiday break.  Having reached that point again where anything more intellectually challenging than tic tac toe makes my head hurt, I thought I would revisit and update ...

1 min

Techno Hype or Techno Hope? Two panel discussions on technology innovation

I’ve been up to my eyeballs this past few weeks in stuff, and haven’t had as much time as usual to post here.  So this weekend I thought I would take the easy route and post a couple of videos from the recent Symposium on Risk, Uncertainty and Sustainable Innovation. These were back to back ...

2 mins

Inspiring teachers – a blast from the past

Two years ago, I wrote a piece about ten things that inspired me to become a scientist. One of those was my high school teacher.  We never kept in touch, but through the miracle of the web, that post eventually came to his attention, and we connected again. The other day he unearthed a photo ...

Contagion, plausible reality and public health: In conversation with Larry Brilliant

Blockbuster movies aren’t usually noted for their scientific accuracy and education potential.  But since its release last week, Steven Soderburgh’s Contagion seems to be challenging the assumption that Hollywood can’t do science. The other day I posted a piece about how director Steven Soderburgh and screenwriter Scott Z Burns’ attention to detail and plausibility left ...

2 mins

Cool science: The Charlie McDonnell Effect

There’s been quite a bit of chatter about the “Brian Cox Effect” in the UK recently, as interest in science seems to be on the rise.  But I haven’t heard anyone talking about the “Charlie McDonnell Effect”. Maybe it’s because Charlie appeals more to a growing movement of teens who just want to immerse themselves ...

7 mins

The public and peer review literature: Pearls before swine?

This morning I sat down with my 14 year old son and asked him what area of science caught his interest especially.  He answered “the future of space exploration”. We carried out a search on the Web of Science for “future + space + exploration”, and the fifth article returned was “Comparing future options for ...

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