4 mins

Talk to the Hand: Risk Bites, six months on

2 mins

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

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 ...

6 mins

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

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 ...

11 mins

Jumping the gap between a US and UK high school education

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 ...

4 mins

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

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 ...

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 ...

13 mins

Prepare and Inspire: The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s take on STEM education

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – PCAST – has just released a new report on US K-12 education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (the STEM subjects).  The report provides, in the words of the President’s Science Advisor John Holdren, “a strategy for improving K-12 STEM education that responds to the ...

4 mins

I’m A Scientist – where the prize money went

I love books – the old fashioned kind, printed with ink on paper.  As a kid, books were my source of education, inspiration and entertainment.  As an adult, I still find there’s something oddly satisfying about picking up a sheaf of printed and bound pages and immersing myself in them. So it’s perhaps not surprising ...

5 mins

Texas Instruments Graphing calculators – essential math teaching aid, or a scam?

Last September regular readers of 2020 Science will recall that I was somewhat taken aback at having to fork out $100 for a Texas Instruments graphing calculator as my son started 7th grade math. One academic year on, was the purchase worth it? (Yes, despite my shock, we did reluctant acquiesce to the school’s dictate ...

1 min

ASME launches a new series of nanotechnology podcasts

ASME – the organization that used to be known as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers – has just launched a series of educational podcasts on nanotechnology that are well worth checking out. Between now and next February, the ASME Nanotechnology Institute will be posting new video and/or audio podcasts on their website every couple ...

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