Code for life

Not cow farts

Grant Jacobs Feb 09, 2019

You may have heard or read media outlets talking of cow farts.[1] This tweet from  University of California at Davis animal biotechnology/genomics scientist, Alison Van Eenennaam might help – I’m sure I’ve been guilty of lazily using it. Eructation is a very polite and fancy way of saying burp. As the dictionary puts it, “a belch”. (Yes, … Read More

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Taming inaccurate health and science news: could editors help?

Grant Jacobs Feb 07, 2019

A recent study found most of the 10 most popular ‘health’ articles of 2018 were inaccurate. Similar but less skewed results were seen for the top 100 articles. I dislike pointing fingers. For these things, they tend to point at journalists and social media. Instead, I’d like to highlight something less talked about when discussing inaccurate health and science news: … Read More

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The loose boobies of deathly cold, humour, entertainment, and science communication

Grant Jacobs Feb 02, 2019

Last night a clever tweet written by art+science fan ‘girlyratfish’ (@girlyratfish) amused me: – Her riff of the TV news image uses a clever analogy to explain why climate change has affected the polar vortex. It reminded me of an issue in science communication: how do you reach those who never watch or read science … Read More

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For new parents or parents-to-be facing vaccine opinions

Grant Jacobs Jan 29, 2019

For new parents or parents-to-be the wildly different opinions about vaccines must be very confusing. This one’s for you. It’s also for people who pass on vaccine messages to their parent or parent-to-be friends. (If you’re concerned about the apparent length of this article, the main body of the article is short.) Half of all parents with small children  … Read More

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Strongest opponents of GM think they know best but actually know the least

Grant Jacobs Jan 17, 2019

A study just out shows that the strongest opponents of GM (genetic modification) think they know the subject well, but in fact know the least. What does this means for science communication? Especially contentious topics. Doubly so where deliberate misinformation is being offered. Similarly are their lessons for politicians? In New Zealand politicians seem too timid to try correct … Read More

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Tired of flipping USB plugs over?

Grant Jacobs Jan 10, 2019

If you’re anything like me, flipping USB plugs over is irritating. It’s not as if it takes much time, just that you have to do it at all. Here’s a tip I stumbled onto a few years ago: (advertising) logos face up. When you put the cable or device in, keep the advertising logo face up. I can’t guarantee that … Read More

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