// Latest Posts

CRISPR, unicorns and responsible language use

I was looking through my twitter timeline on 12 June, when I came cross a tweet by Dietram Scheufele which said “’bend nature to our will.’ #CRISPR frame in new #Doudna book might resonate differently across audiences […] #scicomm”. The tweet made reference to an article by Sharon Begley in STAT News about Jennifer Doubna’s new book, co-authored with Samuel Sternberg, A …

The language and politics of hope

Yesterday, feeling rather under the weather, I whiled away my time as a sniffling wreck by sitting on twitter and watching the world tweet by. I also diverted myself by watching the James Comey testimony in the US. Then I watched the exit polls for the General Election in the UK. Then I fell asleep and woke up to …

Juno, Jupiter and the art of citizen science

With political and moral life here on earth being in utter turmoil, images of/from Jupiter beamed down to our little planet by the Juno space probe have recently kept me sane (as far as that’s possible). They brought with them glimpses of beauty and moments of wistfulness. A year or so ago, I wrote a blog post …

SBRC symposium: Synbio, metaphors and responsibility

On Monday this week (22 May, 2017) our Synthetic Biology Research Centre symposium on metaphors, synthetic biology and responsibility took place at the East Midlands Conference Centre at the University of Nottingham. The weather was marvellous and showed off University Park in all is spring glory. We started with a pre-conference dinner which, in a way, …

Making microbes public: A workshop report

This is a post by Carmen McLeod who participated in a workshop held at the University of Oxford  on 3/4 May 2017 entitled Making Microbes Public. She wrote the original post for the blog of the Interdisciplinary Microbiome Project and it has been reposted here with permission. Carmen is a social anthropologist currently based in the Nottingham …

The microbiome goes viral

In this post, I want to return to a topic that started to fascinate me in 2007, namely the microbiome. I published an article (with Iina Hellsten) about the metaphors used to make the microbiome public, but then didn’t do any further research on the topic, apart from writing a blog post stimulated by Jon Turney’s 2015 …

Our microbiome: Separating hype from health

This is a blog post by Nicholas Staropoli, originally posted at the Epigenetics Literacy Project on April 18, 2017. It’s reposted here with permission. The post deals with the issue of hype, which we have discussed a lot on this blog; in this post the focus is on the microbiome. *** The details of science — how to …

Cassini: Space probes, history and women

I have just read a lovely article by Rebekah Higgitt on the various Cassinis that worked in France as astronomers. One of them was Giovanni Domenico (or Jean Dominique) Cassini (8 June 1625 – 14 September 1712), the first director of the observatory founded by Louis XIV, and discoverer, amongst other things, of four satellites of the planet …