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Brigitte Nerlich

Brigitte Nerlich

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Posts by Brigitte Nerlich

Making epigenetics public: A problem with metaphors

Two years ago, in May 2013, I wrote a blog post about epigenetics. This was at a time when social scientists started to be interested in this new field of genetics/genomics and began to critically scrutinize it. Now, two years later and after a flurry of social science articles have appeared, a special issue on …

Climate linguistics

In a recent news article about the origins and spread of the concept ‘climate denial’, the E&E reporter Jean Chemnick refers to me as a specialist in ‘climate linguistics’. Somebody asked me on twitter whether this field existed and some people searched my academia profile to find out more. I myself also googled around a …


On 3 May Tamsin Edwards wrote an article for The Observer entitled “The lukewarmers don’t deny climate change. But they say the outlook’s fine” (see here for a discussion; I should point out that Tamsin didn’t choose the title for this article). This prompted Steven Mosher to write the following comment: “Lukewarmers have come a …

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Climate scepticism in Australia

Much has been written about those who doubt various tenets of mainstream climate science. Much of this literature has focused on the United States. Far less attention has been paid to Australia, despite the fact that climate change has emerged as a central issue for Australian politics and science. When studying the use of various …

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Images of the cell in art and science: An update

This is a Guest POST by Maura C. Flannery, Professor of Biology, St. John’s University, NY, reflecting on, what one may call ‘making cells public’ and the interactions between art and science in this process. The blog is related to an images and visualisation project funded by the European Science Foundation, rather than to the …

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Responsible Research and Innovation: Experts, values and judgements

Expertise, judgement and values are huge topics in philosophy, psychology and the social sciences in general. I am no expert on these issues. However, I believe that the new Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) agenda imposes a duty to reflect on these notions on those who, like me, are supposed to ‘implement’ RRI within large …

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The bioeconomy in the news (or not)

At meetings of the BBSRC/EPSRC funded Synthetic Biology Research Centre here at Nottingham the word ‘bioeconomy’ crops up now and again, which is not surprising, as synthetic biology is supposed to be part of this new economy. In a blog post written in December last year the BBSRC’s Chief Executive Jackie Hunter pointed out that: …

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STS Concepts

For many years I have been working alongside a number of eminent Science and Technology Studies researchers. During that time I have come across many concepts that at first baffled me, then intrigued me and then prompted me to dig into their conceptual history. This blog provided me with a good space to engage in …

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Imagining imaginaries

This is a post by Brigitte Nerlich and CAROL MORRIS. Carol works on spatial imaginaries in the context of food provisioning and food security as part of our Making Science Public programme. Brigitte works on metaphors, images and imagination and always asks what imaginaries are….. The word ‘imaginary’ as a noun is a jargon term …

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Advanced fermenters

I recently dipped my blogging toe into the microbiome, lured there by Jon Turney’s book I, Superorganism. A few days ago, while trying to find an old email on a completely unrelated topic, I came across a comment by Denis Noble that he had sent me when we were corresponding about the microbiome in around …

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