Making Science Public

// Latest Posts

Hottest year on record

Media reporting on climate change has heated up a little bit over the last ten days or so, after an announcement by NASA and NOAA which read like this:  “NASA, NOAA Find 2014 Warmest Year in Modern Record”. This was taken up by the media and, between 15 January and 25 January 2015, the phrases …

Synthetic biology markets: Opportunities and obstacles

As some people know from my previous posts on synthetic biology, I am interested in tracing how synthetic biology is made public in the news media and whether or how it is becoming a matter of public debate. “Synthetic biology is an emerging area of research and is broadly described as the design and construction …

Scientific citizenship

I recently read an excellent thesis on scientific citizenship by soon to be Dr Beverley Gibbs (whom you all know from her posts on this blog!). She uncovered various as yet under-explored aspects of scientific citizenship, focusing in particular on membership, rights & responsibilities and participation (and I hope she’ll write a blog post about …

Making synthetic biology public: The case of XNAs and XNAzymes

On 1 December a group of scientists at the University of Cambridge led by Dr Philipp Holliger published an article in the journal Nature in which they presented new findings within the field of synthetic biology. Both the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), who funded the research, …

Will a spoonful of ‘awareness’ help the medicine go down?

Lord Robert Winston, well-known scientist and professor of fertility studies, would like the public to be made aware that experiments on animals are involved in the development of all medicines, vaccines, and drugs for human use. To this end, he introduced the Medicinal Labelling Bill in October 2013 which, if passed, would make it mandatory …

RRI and impact: An ‘impossiblist’ agenda for research?

Richard Jones has written a long, profound and thought-provoking blog post on (ir)responsible innovation (stagnation). I read his post alongside a recent post on the social impact of research, its challenges and opportunities. This made me think that we are witnessing a confluence of agendas which are generally only looked at separately but that should …

Kissing a comet

I began writing this post this morning and I have just read that Philae has reached its landing spot Agilkia (sort of)! Touchdown happened at 1605 GMT. Congratulations!! Rocks, robots and us When I switched on the ESA live feed about the comet landing this morning, I heard one of the lead scientists say that landing …