Tagged: consuming science

Traditional Chinese medicine: Eye of newt and toe of frog - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Dec 09, 2017

‘Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble’ chant the three witches in the cavern, lightening flashing outside, in Act 4, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It’s images like these, conjured up by the great bard himself, that I associate with traditional Chinese medicines and herbal remedies. The implied promise that if I take this concoction, my health … Read More

The science of prediction - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 04, 2017

It’s coming up to that time of year when predictions start popping out like buskers playing Christmas jingles. We all know a litany of bad predictions: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876 “I think there is … Read More

‘Brain training’ apps won’t make you smarter - Guest Work

John Kerr Dec 01, 2017

If you think that a few bucks spent on a braining training app is a solid investment in your intellectual future, think again. Anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time on the internet has probably heard of the brain training app Lumosity. The San Francisco-based company has spent millions on advertising and claims to have 85 million users. Their app is … Read More

Is synthetic meat ethical? - Open Parachute

Ken Perrott Nov 30, 2017

I am deeply ashamed of it now – but at the time it seemed like an experience I couldn’t afford to miss. It was so exotic – and I was travelling. Twenty years ago I ate at a restaurant in Johannesburg, the Republic of South Africa,  which specialised in meat dishes – from game animals. It was a real feast. Stews of … Read More

Can you trust Band-Aids? - Honest Universe

Mark Hanna Nov 29, 2017

Band-Aid is a household name, but can you trust the way they’re promoted? For years Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturers of Band-Aid adhesive bandages, have been making a simple claim about them. If you put a Band-Aid on a cut, it will heal faster than it would have if left uncovered. Specifically, they say it will heal twice … Read More

Anki – Turning Chinese character-learning from a mountain into a molehill - Lippy Linguist

Guest Author Nov 28, 2017

Guest post by Louise Stevenson, Linguistics, History and Chinese language student at the University of Waikato Those who study Mandarin Chinese are familiar with the question, “But isn’t that one of the hardest languages to learn?” Usually, I like to challenge this question by pointing out how wonderfully straightforward the grammar is – no case-marking, no articles, and no inflection … Read More

How eco-friendly is your ecotourism experience? - Wild Science

Helen Taylor Nov 28, 2017

An increasing number of travelers and holidaymakers are paying for nature-based trips and experiences under the ecotourism banner, but do these activities do more harm than good to the nature concerned? According to the Nature Conservancy, ecotourism is the fastest growing segment of the internationally massive tourism industry. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has a … Read More

‘Honey, I’m related to Genghis Khan’: the hype around ancestral DNA testing - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Nov 27, 2017

Television documentaries focusing on the use of ancestral DNA to reveal hidden mysteries in family trees are becoming increasingly popular. However, in our house they are known as ‘the time Daddy rants at the TV’. Quite frequently, you will hear me exclaim to my kids ‘You can’t say that!’ or ‘There’s no evidence to support that’, before I throw … Read More

Sciblogs goes shopping: new ‘Consuming Science’ Series - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Nov 27, 2017

Science sells.  You don’t have to look far in the supermarket to see that advertisers have cottoned on to this fact. Technical sounding jargon, endorsements from experts and references to ‘clinically proven’ results are everywhere you look. Sometimes you just wish someone could cut through hype and give a clear steer on how best to spend … Read More