Guest Work

Weird Science: Beware the meerkat – cuddly critters the world’s most murderous mammals

Guest Work Dec 24, 2016

Meerkats – delightful, lovable fluffballs, right? Wrong – they’re actually stone-cold killers, the mammalian world’s most prolific murderers in fact, according to a study that came out in September. The scientists looked at murder rates in 1,000 mammal species, compared the meerkat (sorry) with the others, and found that one-in-five of these cuddly critters is killed in cold … Read More

Eavesdropping reveals hidden marine mammal populations in the ocean

Guest Work Dec 22, 2016

By Joy Tripovich, UNSW Australia and Tracey Rogers, UNSW Australia Acoustic monitoring of the calls of marine animals, such as whales and seals, could be the key to identifying new species, finding new population groups and mapping migration routes. We recently used custom-designed detection algorithms to run through 57,000 hours of underwater ocean noise to … Read More

What does research say about how to effectively communicate about science?

Guest Work Dec 20, 2016

Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University and Dietram A. Scheufele, University of Wisconsin-Madison Truth seems to be an increasingly flexible concept in politics. At least that’s the impression the Oxford English Dictionary gave recently, as it declared “post-truth” the 2016 Word of the Year. What happens when decisions are based on misleading or blatantly wrong information? … Read More

How to check if you’re in a news echo chamber – and what to do about it

Guest Work Dec 14, 2016

By Tom Stafford, University of Sheffield If you were surprised by the result of the Brexit vote in the UK or by the Trump victory in the US, you might live in an echo chamber – a self-reinforcing world of people who share the same opinions as you. Echo chambers are a problem, and not just because it means … Read More

The festive psychology behind Christmas TV advertising

Guest Work Dec 12, 2016

By Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, Anglia Ruskin University Christmas is traditionally a time for giving. And for most of us, giving means buying – the perfect excuse for major retailers to conduct an advertising assault that pulls on our heart strings and empties our pockets. Seasonal TV adverts are usually full of signs and symbols playing on our subconscious, and … Read More

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