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Brigitte Nerlich

Brigitte Nerlich

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Posts by Brigitte Nerlich

AMR and the ‘rhetoric of resistance’

Today Helen Lambert, the ESRC‘s AMR champion, posted a blog post under the title ‘Rhetoric of resistance‘ on the AMR Social Science Champion Blog ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance (UNGA) meeting about which she also tweeted during the day. “The primary objective of the meeting is to summon and maintain strong …

Zika, poems and people

Friday morning (16 September) two things happened. I was preparing for a meeting with colleagues (Sarah Hartley and Barbara Ribeiro) to discuss findings from a project examining Brazilian media coverage of the Zika virus epidemic.* At the same time I got an email asking me to contribute something to a volume on the 2009 swine …

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Reflections on retirement

So, I am about to retire and become Emeritus Professor at the end of the month. That makes one think! The problem is I have been thinking for a while – but to no avail! People ask me what I’ll do and I say I don’t know – and I really don’t. I’ll still supervise …

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Broken science, broken record?

The phrase ‘science is broken’ recently popped back into my head. I had read it quite often in the past, but in the context of current debates about the place of science in society I began to ask myself: What does this phrase actually mean? And why do people use it? ‘Science is broken’ To …

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Science, utility and responsibility

The value of science for society and the role of scientists in society has been debated for a long time (and in this context the word ‘science’ generally refers to the natural, physical, biological sciences). Just recently the topic has crept up on us yet again. Some have argued that, in the context of climate …

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When epigenetics gets under the skin

A few days ago, on 12 August, I saw the following conversation on twitter between Martyn Pickersgill and Muireann Quigley. It started with Martyn saying/sighing: “I’m probably going to start crying with frustration if I read the phrase ‘how the environment gets under the skin’ one more time today.” Whereupon Mauireann asked him what he …

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The epigenetic muddle and the trouble with science writing

I have been interested in epigenetics, especially public portrayals of epigenetics, for about six or seven years. About three years ago I tried to get some funding to examine emerging and changing meanings of epigenetics in traditional and new media (including what one might call ‘alternative’ media), but unfortunately never got the funding. When writing …

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CRISPR – and the race is on (again)

At the weekend I was reading an article in the Guardian about a team of Chinese scientists trying to use CRISPR/gene editing for the treatment of cancer; and I sighed. The article contained some of the standard and, I believe, quite worn-out tropes that pepper coverage of advances in biotechnology: playing God, designer babies…, as …

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Camille Flammarion: Making science popular

Life on this planet is currently crazy, chaotic and confusing. In this context, I was thinking – wouldn’t it be nice to be able to poke one’s head out of the earthly firmament and look at the heavens beyond. This thought popped into my head because I had once seen an image depicting something like …

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