Journalists tend to spend their days scrutinising other people's business. Science writers are no exception, asking questions like whether scientists are conducting themselves and their research ethically or wondering how science should adapt to an increasingly digital world. Tomorrow, we turn this spotlight on ourselves and our professional community.
(Phys.org) —A scientific analysis of 20 million words recorded during 150 years of criminal trials at London's Old Bailey reveals how changes in culture rather than law helped to reduce violent crime, according to a co-authored University of Sussex study.
Former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade has just published a book about race and genetics that has stirred up debates over scientific racism that go back over 250 years. Where did his ideas come from? Here are nine major works of scientific racism that are still influencing thinkers today.
The Nieman Journalism Lab published a thoughtful critique of data journalism on Wednesday, but there are additional things the emerging space could do live up to its hype, including getting more creative about where writers source their data.
I have spent the last few days at a School of Science Journalism in the pleasant town of Erice, in western Sicily. The school, held at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture, brought together science communicators, freelance writers, magazine editors and press office consultants to listen to a small set of lectures, which this year (the fifth of the school) centered on the topic of "the digital world".
I contributed to the lessons with a 1-hour seminar titled "Science Blogging versus Science Journalism". I do not particularly like the title of my presentation, which was offered by the organizers, as I do not see the two activities in competition with each other much. Hence I tried to organize my lecture as a discussion of things that science journalist wannabes could be interested to hear, from a scientist who has been blogging for 10 years and has picked up some tricks and lessons along the way.
Four teenage girls who used urine as a source of hydrogen to power a generator are a long way from solving our energy challenge, but scientists are working on more sophisticated variations of the same idea.
Pseudo-science theories are a little like puppies. They're fun, fluffy things to talk about, and most of the time they're harmless. Sometimes, however, they get big, mean, aggressive, and have to be put down. Here are a few pseudo-science theories that need the Old Yeller treatment.
Churchill believed that democracy was the “worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Something analogous is often said about anonymous peer review (APR) in science: “it may have its flaws, but it’s the ‘least bad’ of all possible systems.” In this contribution, I present some arguments to the contrary. I believe that APR is threatening scientific progress, and therefore that it urgently needs to be fixed.
The reason we have a review system in the first place is to uphold basic standards of scientific quality. The two main goals of a review system are to minimize both the number of bad studies that are accepted for publication and the number of good studies that are rejected for publication. Borrowing terminology of signal detection theory, let’s call these false positives and false negatives respectively.
Virtually everyone here has this arrogant attitude towards students and everyone else (staff and other APs). They walk around with this sense of superiority. It makes really hard to socialize and freely exchange ideas with them.