Of Schemes and Memes Blog

The Best of Nature Network: 14-20 August 2010


We welcomed three new bloggers onto Nature Network this week. Jane de Lartigue, maven of the microscope, describes her inspirations:

One of my favourite pieces of science writing is by Mark Smith, entitled ‘Animalcules and Other Little Subjects’. He describes with boyish charm and child-like enthusiasm the world contained within a jar of pond water, brought to life by a microscope. This to me is the essence of the joy and wonder of cell biology that never ceases to leave me in awe.

Richard Williams, meanwhile, has a somewhat unusual career history, initially training as a biochemist, then spending eight years as an IT professional, before moving back to the lab again. His blog, Ramblings of a Career Changer, can be found here.

Last but not least, Stephen Moss launched his Binocular Vision blog, which begins with a look at the publication of supplementary data.

With the recent press reports of new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Jim Caryl offers some expert context on the past, present and future of this molecular arms race.

The ever-eclectic Bob O’Hara blogs a confluxion of novelist Umberto Eco, painter René Magritte, the UK badger population and some serious-looking statistics. How? Here’s how.

Want to be a scientific leader? Steffi Suhr uses a Nature opinion piece to explore the skills required. Maybe you’d rather be a science writer? Richard Grant opens the discussion by linking off to a must-bookmark post by Ed Yong. Jennifer Rohn, who seems equally at home as a working scientist and a science communicator, reflects on the progress she’s made in her lab role.

Finally, a collection of links for fans of the written word. Martin Fenner reviews Clay Shirky’s new book, Brian Clegg highlights an open-mic event for science fiction and poetry, Raf Aerts discovers literary evidence that Newton was an expert on seed dispersal, Frank Norman finds an indispensable tool for all word lovers, and another take on author-pays publishing from Tom Webb.

Site improvements

We’re hoping to roll out a new set of improvements to the site next week (date to be confirmed with IT, but all the fixes have been approved and submiited). Among the additions will be a way for bloggers to add custom banners to their blogs, a new set of tools to allow rich-text comments, and the ability for bloggers to maintain a list of their favourite sites in the sidebar of their sidebars. Thanks to everyone who gave their feedback and stay tuned for more updates…

And Finally…

We’ve been inviting scientists around the world to map the scientific highlights of their cities in Google Maps. So far, we’ve curated maps of London, San Francisco and Münster. If you’d like to take part, and map your own city, please email Matt Brown (i.am.mattbrown – at – gmail.com) for details.


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