Archive by category | Communication

Nature Photonics on the Nobel prize for physics

There’s an interesting Editorial in Nature Photonics this month (November) about the 2009 Nobel prize for physics (Nat. Photon. 3, 605; 2009), won for two innovations in photonics that underpin society’s adoption of information technology. From the Editorial: “What is particularly interesting about this year’s choice of award is the strongly applied nature of the achievements and the prevalence of the technologies in today’s society. Indeed, this is probably one of the rare instances where many of those working outside science are likely to have both an immediate familiarity with the topics of the award and an appreciation of their usefulness. After all, in developed countries fibre-optic communications underpin phone networks and the internet, and digital cameras are now considered a ubiquitous item in many households.” The Nature Photonics editors are intrigued as to whether this year’s award will set a Nobel precedent for honouring practical applications of scientific research.  Read more

Being communicative but careful with the media

Bad journalism is best met not with red-faced indignation, but with good journalism. The truth is the best revenge. So concludes an Editorial in the current issue of Nature (461, 848; 2009) about an email campaign to a US climate scientist who backed out of participating in a documentary when he realized that the film-makers had not been clear with him about their intentions. Occasionally, scientists have been hoodwinked by the media, but these are rare events compared with the vast majority of programmes and other media articles. From the Editorial:  … Read more

Polymath Project and Google Wave: open-source science

Two examples of open-source science are the subject of Opinion articles in this week’s Nature. In the first of these, Timothy Gowers and Michael Nielsen describe their ‘Polymath Project’, which showed that many minds can work together to solve difficult mathematical problems, and reflect on the lessons learned for open-source science (Nature 461, 879-881; 2009). In the other article, Cameron Neylon says that Google Wave is the kind of open-source online collaboration tool that should drive scientists to wire their research and publications into an interactive data web (Nature 461, 881; 2009).  Read more

Nature Medicine and Nature Biotechnology announce the SciCafé

Following on from yesterday’s post about schemes to involve the general public in the daily lives of scientific researchers, Nature Medicine and Nature Biotechnology announce an initiative to connect commercially oriented academics with their local business community (Nat. Med. 15, 1095; 2009). The SciCafé is a series of networking events in Boston and San Francisco that help researchers connect with investors and serial entrepreneurs.  Read more

Essential reading for Copenhagen at Nature Reports Climate Change

At the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this December, talk will turn to scientific, political and economic issues with a global reach and a long history — not easy to pick up from the daily news. Nature Reports Climate Change asked select experts on climate change what books we should be reading ahead of the big event. See Nature Reports Climate Change for the selections made my Mike Hulme, Tony Juniper, Mark Lynas, Oliver Morton, Ron Oxburgh, Rajendra K. Pachauri, Roger Pielke, Jr, Andrew Revkin and Joseph Romm, which range from popular scientific accounts to technical reports; and from explaining the controversies to passionate accounts of solutions. Some quotations from the recommendations:  … Read more

Personal genomes and medicine at the British Library

Personal GenoME & Medicine: Hype or Reality? So runs the title of the next Talkscience evening at the British Library in London on 23 September. As usual, there is a Nature Network forum to provide more details of the event and to start the discussion going online before the meeting itself, so readers are encouraged to check that out and contribute ideas. How is cheaper, faster DNA sequencing helping or hindering our ability to understand disease, treatment and prevention? Which of the many single-nucleotide polymorphisms that have been identified in genome-wide association studies might be causal to a disease? How will advances in genome technologies lead to better diagnosis and treatments? What are the legal, ethical and other issues concerning “direct to consumer” personalised genomics?  Read more

Nature Chemical Biology on science communication

September’s Editorial in Nature Chemical Biology (5, 601; 2009) addesses the question of how to foster open scientific dialogue in the digital age while respecting the integrity of the scientific process. The publication of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals is the primary means by which discoveries are disseminated through the scientific community, with the most exciting being subsequently communicated to the public through the scientific media. The Editorial continues:  … Read more

Nature announces News Briefing

Nature‘s news coverage is evolving with this week’s launch of News Briefing — a two-page digest of the key events shaping the scientific enterprise in the past week. With coverage encompassing policy decisions, funding announcements, market trends and business deals, News Briefing offers a complete overview of the developments that affect anyone working in science. The section also features a calendar to highlight important events, reports and initiatives occurring in the forthcoming week.  Read more