Has the press played up fears when reporting the swine flu epidemic? An unpublished study, commissioned by the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control, suggests not.
In the run up to Copenhagen what sort of coverage would King – former chief scientific adviser to the UK government and now advising Rwanda’s government – like to see?
I’ve been looking towards today’s sessions because they focus largely on science in developing countries. I’m particularly interested in these sessions because I’ll be in India this summer, where I’ll be focusing on renewable energy development in rural villages. Read more
Being in Australia, I’ve been keeping my eye out for quintessential Aussie research – and researchers. Today I met Marilyn Renfree, the Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics. She studies developmental biology and uses wallabies as an animal model. This makes a lot of sense since newborn wallabies, being marsupials, are essentially in an embryonic state when they’re born. Unlike humans, they don’t becoming male or female until well after they’ve been born. So, for Marilyn, the wallaby is a perfect model for studying the endocrine pathways controlling sexual differentiation. Interesting, certainly. But what I really appreciated was that, instead of calling herself something unwieldy like a Developmental Endocrinologist, a Mammalian Endocrinologist or a Marsupial Physiologist she simply called herself a Wallaby-ologist. Crickey! Read more
It’s been a morning of science and politics. Today’s opening session focused on the biasing of scientific information. Chris Mooney, Seed Magazine’s Washington correspondent and the author of The Republican War on Science (and the forthcoming Hurricane Wars) spoke about the need for scientists to better “frame” scientific issues so they’re easily digestible and something the public can engage in. Mooney argues this is an effective counter attack – Aussie rules, as he says – on the US Republican stance on issues like stem cell research and climate change. Read more