Archive by category | Education

Responsible nanotechnology research

Various codes of conduct have been proposed for nanotechnology —and in the June issue of Nature Nanotechnology (4, 336; 2009), Richard Jones examines what they mean for individual researchers, particularly in the light of the European Commission’s code, aimed at academic research rather than at businesses and other commerce.  Read more

Incentives needed for science outreach, says Nature Neuroscience

In its June Editorial Encouraging science outreach, Nature Neuroscience (12, 665 ; 2009) responds to US President Obama’s recent call for more scientist involvement in education. Science outreach programs are very welcome, states the Editorial, but to be effective, they must include incentives for teachers and better training for scientist volunteers if true change is to be achieved.  Read more

Federation of Amercian Scientists on “dual-use” of biological research

Via press release: Most scientific research goes largely unnoticed by the general public until media reports reveal major scientific breakthroughs or biosafety accidents. The most recent module in the Fedaration of American Scientists (FAS) Case Studies in Dual Use Biological Research series examines the public reaction to scientific research. It is designed to increase scientists’ awareness of the general public’s perception of their research, the possible consequences, and how scientists can engage the public to address their concerns. “Scientists have to realize that some people are afraid of research being done in their community,” said Michael Stebbins, FAS Director of Biology Policy. “They need to do a better job of reaching out to the public and communicating the benefits of science.”  … Read more

Lessons in science education from Nature Materials

Strong science education is an important part of any modern education. To ensure scientific progress, however, students need to aspire to academic careers, states this month’s (April) Editorial in Nature Materials (8, 243; 2009). The article discusses the Amercan Recovery and Reinvestment Act, of which education forms a substantial part, not least to keep the school system from collapse. After highlighting some international comparisons and ingredients of a good scientific education, the Editorial draws attention to some specific projects:  … Read more

EMBO Reports and Nature on the recession and science

Frank Gannon writes a stirring Editorial in EMBO Reports this month (10, 193; 2009) about scientists and the global economic crisis. ” Hubris and recklessness”, he writes, ” together with an insatiable hunger for money, have created a global crisis that is driving many of the world’s economies into recession. One result is rapidly increasing unemployment and fears are rising that pensions will be rendered worthless; yet, there is no sign of an end to this economic disaster, which has been happening ‘on our watch’.”  … Read more

Notes from the Voyage at Second Life

To help celebrate two notable anniversaries this year which I assume you have not missed (Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of first publication of On The Origin of Species), the Elucian Islands in Second Life will play host to its very first interactive game, Notes from the Voyage, tomorrow (Wednesday 25 February 2009).  Read more

What’s your thinking about cognitive-enhancing drugs?

There is a growing trend to take prescription stimulants (Adderall and Ritalin for example) in order to enhance cognitive performance – perhaps in attempt to obtain better grades or increase learning capacity. Nature has been reporting on developments in this controversial area and providing a forum for discussion. In a Commentary article (Nature doi:10.1038/456702a; 7 December 2008 – free to access online until 18 December) Henry Greely and co-authors, who include Philip Campbell, Editor in Chief of Nature, say that society must respond to this demand. The authors call for:  … Read more