I am going to start doing link roundup on this blog – I go through many articles each week, some of which really are worth mentioning but do not quite warrant full blog posts. I will try to do this every 1-2 weeks. Enjoy!
Bad Headlines: As a science communicator, nothing irks me more than terrible headlines.
- In his post Study links angry LEGO figures to bad journalism, Paul Raeburn wrote about a recent project by Christoph Bartneck studying the facial expression of Lego minifigures, and how the mass media rushed to talk about how the “angrier” expression of Lego minifigures can harm our children – except, there is no children involved in the project! In fact, Christoph himself also reflected on this on his own blog.
- The flooding disaster in Calgary was in the centre of attention for the past week. Sarah Boon, a writer and a professor who studies hydroecology, talked about what’s in a headline and how some headlines regarding the Calgary flood gave people the wrong impression about the science in the news articles.
Social Media for Academics
- Chris Buddle is an Ecology professor at the McGill University. He recently put together a wonderful presentation on Social media for academics, probably one of the best presentations that I have seen that is tailored for the academics. Chris is very active on twitter, so make sure you follow him @CMBuddle
- The role of twitter in the life cycle of a scientific publication by Darling, Shiffman, Côté, and Drew came out on ArXiv some time ago, but I finally managed to take a look last week. A very nicely written summary about twitter for academics because it is much more in-depth, and was written specifically for its target audience. I have seen way too many generic twitter summaries written for academics that are just way too light and do not present a strong case on why academics should be using twitter. HT Artem Kaznatcheev for bringing this to my attention.
Women in Science
- I am working on a review of recent studies on gender bias in science, and came across this. Athene Donald wrote about a paper published this month regarding the under-representation of women as invited speakers at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology Congress. It is more complicated than it seems – you can check out the paper here. Athene invited comments on her blog post through social media and the comment thread for her post is a good read.
The 8th Conference of the Science Journalists: The conference was held in Helsinki in Finland from June 24 to 28. If you look at the programme, you would notice that there are a many great discussions during the conference! Sad that you missed the conference? Here are a few ways to catch up:
- A list of talks recorded during the conference
- WCSJ 2013 Storify posts
- GE sponsored some talks and they were recorded and posted here
- Follow hashtag #WCSJ2013 and handle @wcsj2013 on twitter
Last but not the least…
- E. O. Wilson, whose point of view about the importance of math in science stirred up a lot of discussions, went on Science Friday to chat. By the way, apparently he talks to himself a lot, which I do too (usually so that I am not bored, or to bounce ideas with, eh, myself?) So I guess I am not weird after all! Good. The transcript of this conversation is posted on the NPR website. It is a great talk about why he wrote the book, and also about how he thinks science should do more to reach out to social science, humanities, and the public (+1 from me).
- Last week Sarah Boon tweeted about the closure of the Centre of the Universe, an astronomy outreach centre on the Vancouver Island. I was really upset about this, and simply could not understand why Canada can’t find $277,000 out of the recently increased National Research Council (Canada) budget to save the centre.