The social construction of science: What does it mean?

40 years ago science was still carried out in an ivory tower, scientists were highly respected bearers of truth and certainty and labs were mysterious and closed spaces.* Then came along some young and enterprising social scientists and showed that scientists are human, labs are places of messy human practices and science is fallible. Science …

Making science public: Our edited collection

As our Making Making Science Public programme has come to an end, it’s time to take stock across all projects and beyond. This is exactly what we have done in an (open access) book coming out with Manchester University Press in January, entitled Science and the Politics of Openness: Here be monsters. The chapters in …

Assembling a synthetic human genome: Science and the politics of openness

There has recently been some commotion in the field of synthetic biology about a meeting held at Harvard on 10 May 2016 at which scientists discussed the creation of a synthetic human genome. The meeting was a closed, invitation-only meeting. In a field of science that takes pride in its openness and transparency, this created …

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 …

Bring on the Yawns: Time to Expose Science’s “Dirty Little Secret”

Guest post by visiting fellow, Jeff Tamblyn, film maker and director of Kansas vs. Darwin. As a visiting fellow in the “Making Science Public” project, I’ve had a great first week at the University of Nottingham, filled by conversations with social science scholars and capped off with the events of May Fest – a day in …

Debating empty chairs: creationism, climate and public engagement

This week, Making Science Public has been very proud to welcome US film director Jeff Tamblyn during his UK visit. On Wednesday we screened his amazing film, Kansas vs Darwin, a documentary charting the attempts by members of the Kansas School Board to introduce creationism and intelligent design into high school science teaching. The film …