Making Science Public: End of year round-up, 2017

This is my sixth end-of-year blog post for the Making Science Public blog. A lot has changed since I posted my first one at the end of 2012 (and this post is my 307th). The Making Science Public programme, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, has virtually come to an end but the topics it began …

False balance

Last week an appearance by Lord Lawson on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme caused somewhat of a stir. This was not the first time this had happened. The same happened in 2014. In both instances the BBC invited Lord Lawson to talk about climate change. In both cases this was greeted with a chorus …

Responsibility and openness

Hilary Sutcliffe (RRI specialist) recently made me aware of an article by Arie Rip published in the Journal of Responsible Innovation. At the time of our twitter exchange the article was not openly available, so Stephen Curry (Open access specialist) sent me a copy. The article is entitled ‘The clothes of the emperor. An essay …

Rogues and resistance

Over the last few weeks, when I could tear myself away from my twitter maelstrom of doom, I have been reading Anthony Gottlieb’s The Dream of Enlightenment. On pp. 198-190 I came across Adam Smith’s eulogy of David Hume (1711–1776) in which he recounts a visit to the dying philosopher. During that visit Hume told …

Alternative facts: The good, the bad and the ugly

On 22 January “Senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press … and spoke to host Chuck Todd about a briefing the new press secretary, Sean Spicer, had held earlier in the weekend. Spicer claimed Donald Trump’s inauguration had attracted record numbers of spectators. Conway denied the statements were lies, instead …

Ernst Haeckel, Christmas Cards, and Fake News

This is a brief post inspired by a tweet which led me down a rabbit-hole…. I was looking idly through my tweets this morning when my eye landed on one by Mo Costandi saying “Before his ‘Artforms in Nature’ (http://bit.ly/1GIlTwE), Ernst Haeckel designed greeting cards”. This led me to a flickr page where John Holbo …

Making Science Public: Opening Up Closed Spaces

This article summarising the Making Science Public End of Award Conference (22 June) first appeared in EASST Review: Volume 35(3) September 2016, and is re-posted here with permission of the EASST Review editor. ••• What does it mean to make science more public, open or accountable? How is ‘the public’ imagined and constituted? How does …

The Institute for Science and Society: Past, present, future

Many of you will have seen a new video of the brilliant work done at the Faculty of Social Sciences here at the University of Nottingham since about 1948. I was looking at this during my last days as Director of the Making Science Public programme and also through the eyes of a co-founder of …

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 …