Science communication in a hyper-real world

I recently asked myself the question: Is there still a point in doing or thinking about ‘science communication‘ in a world where facts have become indistinguishable from fiction and where experts and scientists are regarded with suspicion. This question struck me again quite forcefully when listening to the Now Show on Saturday 19 November, a …

Crowdfunding Science

This is guest post by Mike S. Schäfer, Professor of Science Communication at the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research (IPMZ) and Director of the Center for Higher Education and Science Studies at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. Heather Richards was short of $3000, and she could still not realize her research project. The …

Science communication and the role of the Government

On 23 March 2016 the Science and Technology Committee launched an “inquiry on how the Government, scientists, the media and others encourage and facilitate public awareness of – and engagement in – science.” Science communication inquiry Two responses to this ‘Science communication inquiry’ have so far been submitted (as far as I am aware), one …

Synthetic Biology and Responsible Language Use: An anthology of blog posts

Over the last couple of years I have written quite a few blog posts on synthetic biology and responsible research and innovation, focusing in particular on the use of metaphors in both science and policy/politics. I have now assembled them, DIY fashion, into a little ‘booklet’. If anybody has the time and/or inclination to do …

3D printing with atoms: Beginning a story

A while ago Phil Moriarty published a post here on the ‘Making Science Public’ blog to announce a new project in which we are both involved. He talked about ‘impact’, or rather, the ‘non-impact’ type public engagement work we want to do. The project deals with Mechanochemistry at the single bond limit: Towards deterministic epitaxy. …

The crucial role of culture in climate change

On Wednesday, I attended the US Ambassador’s ‘digital dialogue’ event on climate change at Winfield House, where policy wonks, journalists, NGO representatives and academics discussed their current hopes and frustrations. Beyond the usual grumbles about ‘bogus arguments’ against climate action, it was pleasing that some attendees outside of the social sciences chose to highlight the key role of cultural …

What role for a scientist in political science communication?

This is a GUEST POST by ATHENE DONALD, Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cambridge and Master of Churchill College. A couple of months ago Brigitte Nerlich, who hosts this blog, asked me to contribute a post. As it happened, when she sent me the invitation I had just read, and possibly inwardly …

Science, politics and science communication

I sometimes get asked why I write blog posts about science communication and even sometimes practice science communication, given that science communication is not really the focus of our ‘Making Science Public’ programme of research (which was drafted in response to a Leverhulme Trust call for proposals on ‘science and politics’). Despite its title, the …

Making synthetic biology public: The case of XNAs and XNAzymes

On 1 December a group of scientists at the University of Cambridge led by Dr Philipp Holliger published an article in the journal Nature in which they presented new findings within the field of synthetic biology. Both the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), who funded the research, …