Taonga genome websites as on-line hubs for NZ species Grant Jacobs Jul 26

I’d like to add a few words to Peter Deardon’s call for a 100 Taonga Genomes project to sequence the genomes of iconic New Zealand species. One aspect of genome projects, at least well-supported ones, is that websites developed to present them, these can serve as focal hubs for information about those species, that are [...]

Open discussion – funding people or projects, how to assess jobs or grants Grant Jacobs Jun 30

A busy twitter discussion on research funding has followed from The Conversation piece, Science funding should go to people not projects. I’ve opened this short post for those that might want to try discussing in a medium more suited to longer remarks. This is a huge topic, one of great concern with pressure from all [...]

CSIRO brings out new science mag for kids Grant Jacobs Jun 21

Parents (grandparents, uncles, aunts, …) may like to note that CSIRO[1] has brought out a new science magazine for kids, Double Helix. There’s a Facebook page and a web page with details on subscription costs and an order page (until 31 August 2015 introductory prices of $49 (single subscription, 8 editions) or $370 (10-copy bulk [...]

The past and future of science journalism and science communication Grant Jacobs Jun 12

Let me alert readers to an on-line copy of Dan Fagin’s excellent keynote address at the World Conference of Science Journalists, held in Seoul, South Korea. His piece has links with many topics for science communicators, scientist-communicators and New Zealanders in general, not just science journalists – hence my offering it as recommended reading here. Parts [...]

Al Jazeera discussion of science communication and social media Grant Jacobs Jun 11

Tonight I stumbled upon a discussion of science communication on Al Jazeera’s The Stream program, taking in social media, science communication tactics and issues, pulling in the non-science audience (as opposed to preaching to the choir), and more. If science communication isn’t your thing, watch it anyway for the short live demonstrations! Once past the short introductory [...]

Consider this rare beast, the scientist-communicator Grant Jacobs Jun 10

Imagine, if you will, a research institute or group with enough ‘critical mass’ of work around a particular area of science.[1] Now imagine one[2] of the scientists within the institute being assigned a part-time role as a science communicator, with the remainder of their time doing research work within the institute. A 60:40 science and [...]

A new font – the alphabet in proteins Grant Jacobs May 12

We’re all looking for new fonts to express ourselves.[1] If you’re a biologist[2] you can use a protein alphabet created by Mark Howarth’s laboratory.[3] Their web page for it is excellent,[4] and gives some more details along with a list of the proteins featured in their alphabet. They’ve also made this great video of their proteinaceous font: [...]

Luminous Moments Grant Jacobs May 11

Paul Callaghan is well-known to many New Zealanders as a scientist and science communicator. His little book, Luminous Moments, published posthumously, is well worth while reading. It contains “some of his more personal speeches and essays”, seven in all, apparently edited from his hospital bed. The book is put together and prefaced by a foreword by Paul’s daughter, [...]

All the science that is fit to blog – an analysis of science blogging practice Grant Jacobs Apr 25

Those who use blog software as the media to distribute their science writing might like to browse Paige Brown Jarreau’s summary of her Ph.D. thesis, All the Science That is Fit to Blog: an analysis of science blogging practice, or to download a PDF copy of it. You can also download the data and figures. Her [...]

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