From American Scientist: Open Access and the Progress of Science.
Here’s an interesting article: Affect, Values, and Nanotechnology Risk Perceptions: An Experimental Investigation
Science Editorial by Alan Leshner, Chief Executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, highlighting the need for scientists to engage with the public.
“… the notion of public engagement goes beyond public education. We must have a genuine dialogue with our fellow citizens about how we can approach their concerns and what specific scientific findings mean…”
PLoS ONE is born:
PLoS ONE features reports of primary research from all disciplines within science and medicine. By not excluding papers on the basis of subject area, PLoS ONE facilitates the discovery of the connections between papers whether within or between disciplines.
Each submission will be assessed by a member of the PLoS ONE Editorial Board before publication. This pre-publication peer review will concentrate on technical rather than subjective concerns and may involve discussion with other members of the Editorial Board and/or the solicitation of formal reports from independent referees. If published, papers will be made available for community-based open peer review involving online annotation, discussion, and rating.
[via Public Rambling]
Science has released its review of editorial policies following the problems with the papers from South Korean stem cell scientist Hwang Woo Suk. Main conclusion: “Editors of scientific journals should beef up their level of skepticism about high-profile papers submitted to them and demand solid evidence that the work was completed as described”. The whole report is here.
A new study from Pew Internet and American Life Project shows how Americans search for health information online:
Eighty percent of American internet users, or some 113 million adults, have searched for information on at least one of seventeen health topics. Most internet users start at a general search engine when researching health and medical advice online. Just 15% of health seekers say they “always” check the source and date of the health information they find online, while another 10% say they do so “most of the time.” Fully three-quarters of health seekers say they check the source and date “only sometimes,” “hardly ever,” or “never,” which translates to about 85 million Americans gathering health advice online without consistently examining the quality indicators of the information they find. Most health seekers are pleased about what they find online, but some are frustrated or confused.
Sequestered Science: The Consequences of Undisclosed Knowledge is the theme for the latest issue of Law and Contemporary Problems.
From the latest issue of Communication Monographs – Connecting Interpersonal and Mass Communication: Science News Exposure, Perceived Ability to Understand Science, and Conversation.
The University of Otago announced New Zeland’s First Chair in Science Communication:
A $1.5m donation from the Stuart Residence Halls Council to the University of Otago will be used to establish New Zealand’s first chair in Science Communication. The professor, to be appointed after a world-wide search, will lead an associated Centre for Science Communication.
From the August issue of New Media and Society: Web-science communication in the age of globalization.
An interesting weblog: nano|public: “A weblog of nanotech and its impact on the public :: tracking issues related to media coverage, public attitudes, public policy, and public understanding of nanotechnology”.
The Royal Society (through the Science in Society programme), Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust funded a study to examine the factors affecting science communication by scientists and will provide evidence to support the development of strategies to encourage scientists and engineers to communicate with stakeholders including the public, policy makers and media.
An Italian master’s thesis on the science content of the Simpsons: L’universo in una ciambella: la scienza dei Simpson (Universe in a Doughnut: the Science of the Simpsons).
FROM The Wall Street Journal: Science Journals Artfully Try To Boost Their Rankings.
JUST OUT, from the Medical Journal of Australia – Media reporting on research presented at scientific meetings: more caution needed.
From EU Research Information Centre: “A new portal, called ‘IST World’, has been created to stimulate collaboration between researchers, organisations and projects”.
From The Royal Society: Scheme to bridge politics and science launches in Brussels
An online survey found that “large majorities of U.S. adults agree that the results of federally funded research on health issues and other topics should be readily available (for free, and online) to doctors and the general public”.
It was published back in 2000, but it’s still a great read: Science and the Public – A Review of Science Communication and Public Attitudes to Science in Britain.
Nanotechnology is seen as a transformative technology, which has the potential to stimulate scientific innovation while greatly benefiting society. However, the enthusiasm with which the scientific and technical communities are embracing the technology is being tempered by concerns over possible downsides, including risks to human health. “Are these concerns valid?” is a question being asked by many, but frequently from differing perspectives. Given the increasingly complex interface between nanotechnology and society, relevant answers will be built on solid science and framed within a societal context.
FROM Seed Magazine – Taking Aim at Scientific Journals: New, pending legislation could require all government research to be freely available to the public that funded it.
From Physics World, February 2006: Blogs add a new dimension to physics.
Physicists are increasingly using Internet forums to exchange scientific views and share gossip. Paula Gould explores the rise of “blogging”
From today’s The New York Times: Some Publishers of Scholarly Journals Dislike Bill to Require Online Access to Articles.
Asian Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 9 Page 12 – April 2006
Biotechnology in the Japanese media: Comparative analysis of newspaper articles on genetic engineering in Japan and Europe
Aiko Hibino and Motohiko Nagata
The present study examined how the representations of biotechnology using genetic engineering have been developed in Japan relying on media analysis. Specifically, using the online database of the Asahi Shimbun, one of the major opinion-forming newspapers in Japan, the annual numbers of articles concerning biotechnology were tallied from 1985 to 2000, and an analysis was conducted of the content of 850 articles from 10 particular years. Specifically, a framework in which a biotechnological issue was presented was focused on; the changes of dominant frames and the relationships between frames and specific biotechnological applications (e.g. medicine, agrifood and cloning) were investigated. The results showed that: (i) the number of articles increased sharply in particular since 1996–1997; (ii) although general attitudes toward biotechnology were persistently positive, a frame of biotechnological article became more diverse (i.e. the prospect frames were considerably dominant in the earlier phases, but the concern frames also became prominent in the later phases); and (iii) several articles were found which reported cloned animals in a frame of emotional attachment, a frame unique to Japan. These results were compared with those of European countries and discussed from a perspective of the theory of collective symbolic coping.
From The New York Times: For Science’s Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap.