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Brigitte Nerlich

Brigitte Nerlich

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Posts by Brigitte Nerlich

Publicness and Öffentlichkeit – some linguistic musings

Since Roman times, the word ‘public’ has been deeply embedded in the English language, from republic to publican to public convenience; but it still causes problems, as we have discovered several times on the pages of this blog. ‘Public’ has multiple meanings; it is a staple of academic inquiry; but it is not a word …

You say regulatory science, I say mandated science; let’s call the whole thing off?

One issue of contention after the Circling the Square conference was the apparent confounding of science with regulatory science. I finally took a bit of time to dig into the history and use of the concept of ‘regulatory science’ and a related concept, ‘mandated science’. I should stress that there are whole courses on ‘regulatory …

Science, sensationalism and the dangers of over-selling research

This is a GUEST POST by FREYA HARRISON. Freya works in Steve Diggle’s group in the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Nottingham, where she researches the ecology and evolution of cooperation. She spends most of her time exploring how communication and cooperation help bacteria to cause chronic infections, but she is also …

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Autism, sociality and human nature

This is a post by Gregory Hollin originally written for Somatosphere (where it made a bit of splash!) and reposted here with the permission of the author. There are, I believe, a few reasons to suppose that autism is a particularly fascinating area to be studying at the moment.  What are those reasons?  Firstly, prevalence …

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Kandinsky, New Objectivity, and ripping apart the furniture

This is a post by GREGORY HOLLIN who helped organise the Circling the Square conference and these are his reflections on some of the online discussions that followed on blogs and in comments. Circles, Squares, and nonrepresentational forms in Munich Recently I visited Munich and, at the behest of a friend who knows far more …

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Making sense in science and in public

Over the last few weeks some of my colleagues within the Institute for Science and Society and the Making Science Public programme (and beyond) have probably got pretty annoyed with me, as I have become a bit argumentative in a debate about science and politics and the line between sense and nonsense. In the following …

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Describing research in plain language is challenging – but worth it

This is a POST by DAVE FARMER first published on Physicsfocus and which I am reposting here with the permission of the author. Dave is a physics student here at the University of Nottingham. He also participated in our Circling the Square conference and made perceptive contributions from the floor. Dave is an aspiring science …

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Science wars and science peace: Some personal reflections

The dust is beginning to settle over the 330 or so comments stimulated by two blog posts written after the Circling the Square conference here at the University of Nottingham, one by Philip Moriarty one by And then there’s physics. So it’s perhaps time to stand back and assess what happened. When one reads the …

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Science is not what you want it to be

This is a GUEST POST by PHILIP MORIARTY The debates sparked by Circling the Square continue “below the line” of a number of insightful blog posts. (And mine). [And mine, Brigitte] This level of engagement between natural scientists and sociologists is great to see and, given the momentum we established last week, it would be …

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Going round in circles?

As some readers of this blog will know, there has been a conference last week here at the University of Nottingham, which brought together social scientists and natural scientists to discuss issues related to science, politics and the media. The conference was entitled: ‘Circling the square: Research, politics, media and impact’. [Just after I posted …

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