Hyperbole from university press offices Grant Jacobs Dec 11

A newly-released study suggests university press releases are a key source of hyperbole seen in science stories in media, concluding that – Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases. Improving the accuracy of academic press releases could represent a key opportunity for reducing misleading health related news. The study is now [...]

Calling science bloggers Grant Jacobs Dec 02

Ph.D. candidate Paige Brown Jarreau at Louisiana State University is surveying science bloggers about their blogging practices as part of her PhD project in the science of science blogging. Qualifying science blogs can examine “scientific research, science communication, science policy, science in society, science in academia, and/or other science-related concepts or events.” (That should cover just [...]

Homeopath, Ebola and New Zealand – a follow-up Grant Jacobs Nov 23

About three weeks ago I wrote in a comment following a post about a New Zealand member of Parliament supporting homeopathy to treat Ebola: Also, it would be interesting to see if governments (internationally) will step up and condemn these homeopaths that aim to push their remedies on Ebola patients, in a similar way that [...]

Incoming European Commission President scraps Chief Scientific Adviser role Grant Jacobs Nov 19

Last week European science reveled in landing a spacecraft on a comet, a triumph reported quietly in New Zealand. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield—who famously performed Bowie’s Space Oddity on the International Space Station—alluded to the long arc of scientific progress on Facebook, writing “Last night I held in my hands original works of Galileo & Newton. Today we landed on [...]

All about your inner fish Grant Jacobs Nov 07

One of the winners of the 2014 Kalvi Science Journalism Awards is the three-part PBS television series, Your Inner Fish. As far as I know the series not freely-available, but in it’s place you can watch this excellent presentation by Neil Shubin. If you’ve an hour of your time in the weekend, rather than watch some silly thing [...]

Supporting homeopathy for Ebola loses natural health brief but more needed Grant Jacobs Nov 04

In a step in the right direction for evidence-based policy, Green Party member of parliament Steffan Browning has been stripped of his natural health portfolio by his party’s caucus but more is needed. As I related in my previous piece, his is not a idle blunder but an example of his thinking. This line of [...]

New Zealand political spokesperson for GE and more endorses homeopathy for Ebola Grant Jacobs Oct 31

(Opinion on one of stupider things I’ve seen endorsed by a politician in a while and it’s relation to other science-based policy, including genetic engineering.) Green Party MP Steffan Browning has been widely reported as endorsing a petition to apply homeopathy to Ebola. To be frank this is an idea of rank stupidity. Homeopathic ‘remedies’ [...]

The end of ScienceOnline Grant Jacobs Oct 10

A few minutes ago I checked my email, to be greeted with the news that the board of ScienceOnline have elected to dissolve the organisation and cancel their 2015 meeting. I hope that local counterparts will surface. Perhaps we can hope for an Australiasian* counterpart? Perhaps hosted in different nations in different years? In previous [...]

Good governance, democracy and investment in science Grant Jacobs Aug 28

From what others have written here at sciblogs most readers will know that we have elections on in New Zealand soon. While reading the newspaper last weekend I encountered an opinion piece by political commenter Colin James that includes commentary on investing in science that readers might be interested in. His essay opens by talking [...]

Sci fi short – Abiogenesis Grant Jacobs Aug 28

I think it’d be fair to suggest many scientists are sci fi fans. Hopefully some of my non-scientist readers are too! You might enjoy this short (4-5 minute) sci fi film by New Zealand animator, Richard Mans. Titled Abiogenesis it was backed by the New Zealand Film Commission, and has won a number of awards [...]

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