Searching for Zika: Where are the women?

The Zika virus has attracted a lot of attention over the last year. For some people it’s a faraway threat, for some it’s a living reality. Many people want to know more about it and search for information. These searches leave traces and accumulate as trends in search behaviour. Out of curiosity I looked at …

Improving climate change communications: moving beyond scientific certainty

This is a co-authored post with Gregory Hollin. It is based upon our new paper in Nature Climate Change, which is the first piece of original research from science and technology studies (STS) published in the journal. In the last 25 years scientists have become increasingly certain that humans are responsible for changes to the …

What does climate sensitivity mean? Peace for our time…or the wrong battle?

A very quick post on this week’s big news in the climate blogosphere: a new report on climate sensitivity, Oversensitive, written by Nicholas Lewis and Marcel Crok published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The GWPF’s role is discussed in a new Klimazwiebel post by my colleague, Reiner Grundmann, while Ed Hawkins’s Climate Lab Book …

Science, politics and certainty

I  have recently begun to think about what it might mean to give scientific advice (or science-based advice or evidence-based advice or, even, expert advice), a topic that I have not thought about before. I know that there is a lot of literature on that topic and that many people have written about it, but …

Science in Public 2013 – Call for Panel Proposals

UPDATE: You can see the full Call For Papers including details of all the proposed panels at http://scienceinpublic.org/conference/  8th Annual Science in Public Conference, 22-23 July 2013 on ‘Critical Perspectives on Making Science Public’ Call for Panel Proposals The University of Nottingham is proud to host the 8th Annual Science in Public Conference, 22-23 July 2013. …

The impact of earthquakes on making science public

Many articles have been written about the case of three seismologists, two engineers, a volcanologist and a public official who have been sentenced to be jailed for six years on 22 October in L’Aquila, Italy (although this sentence may be reduced on appeal).  These members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of …

‘Silent spring’ – making science public

In terms of making science (and products of science) public, the book Silent Spring (1962) by Rachel Carson, published 50 years ago today, occupies a unique place. It was one of the first popular science books that shaped public perception of the world we live in and it also had direct political consequences. Carson’s book …

Unseasonable weather; unseasonable climate? Facts, fictions and fantasies

I have just come back from a place in Dorset that my husband’s family has visited every summer for the last forty years or so and that I have visited for the last twenty. I sometimes needed to take and wear an anorak. This has changed and I have been wearing it more often over …

Not God but Goldilocks? The Higgs Boson and science communication

Being on a rain-washed holiday in the depth of Dorset, what else is there to do but watch some news, read some newspapers and getting a long lecture on the Higg’s from one’s offspring. I still don’t understand exactly what’s going on with the Higgs, but the whole thing ties in nicely with various topics …

Scepticism: Process, not position

Scepticism activism Scepticism is as old as human thinking, as old as philosophy and as old as science. Most recently scepticism has, on the one hand, become embroiled in a major controversy about climate change, and on the other hand scepticism has also become a form of activism, with Skeptics in the Pub being a …