Tagged: science communication

When jargon makes you feel like you don’t belong - Lately, In Science

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Mar 06, 2020

It’s the cruellest Catch-22 in science: you spend years learning intricate jargon about your specific area, then this jargon makes it nearly impossible for ‘outsiders’ to understand what you’re on about. Anyone who has submitted a blog to Sciblogs in the past few years has probably received an email back from me pleading for them to remove or explain jargon. Read More

Grammar for scientists - Lately, In Science

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Feb 05, 2020

I’m about to start teaching science communication to tertiary students, which is equally hilarious and terrifying to me. (Hi to my students who have Googled me and found this post.) I loved English at high school, but we spent most of our time reading The Outsiders, discussing the differences between metaphors and similes, and pondering the thematic meaning of King Lear. But … Read More

The 2019-nCov coronavirus outbreak: all together now - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Feb 01, 2020

There’s so much being reported about the ‘Wuhan’ 2019-nCov coronavirus outbreak it’s confusing. Here’s an outline of some aspects of what scientists are looking at, some places to follow the story, and a few tips for reading the science. Yesterday Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) wrote, calling for a public health emergency – … Read More

What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English? - Lippy Linguist

Andreea Calude Jan 24, 2020

I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which concerns the history of how English came … Read More

1000 of these now - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Nov 09, 2019

Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in a few pictures.) Slow to fall This piece started a … Read More

In science communication, words matter - Lately, In Science

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jun 21, 2019

Being a grammar nerd isn’t always the best way to win friends and influence people, but today I’m yet again reminded why it’s important to get our words right. Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Authority released its annual HSNO Monitoring report, which includes data on hazardous substances and new organisms managed under the HSNO Act. This year, they’ve expanded their … Read More

Dissecting the Insect Apocalypse - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 09, 2019

Tom Saunders Studies on insect declines published over the last few years have thrown up some scary headlines. “The insect apocalypse is here” proclaims the New York Times, warning the pace of insect declines could spell catastrophe within decades. It’s a grim picture, but how accurate is it? In late 2017, European scientists reported a 75% decline in insects over the last … Read More

Taming inaccurate health and science news: could editors help? - Code for life

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

The loose boobies of deathly cold, humour, entertainment, and science communication - Code for life

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