254 items on »typolis:« tagged with
»in the media«
There are journalistic principles to write an accurate and balanced medical story, focus on the news, don't skip side effects of a therapy or medication, mention alternatives of the treatment. But journalists produce under pressure, and hence often neglect their own standards. My colleague Marcus Anhäuser, a senior science and medical journalist in Germany, heads an editorial team to check health stories after publication and rates them regarding to journalistic standards and usefulness for the general reader. Their ratings on medical stories in German papers, radio and TV are available at www.medien-doktor.de (in German). But there are obviously examples from the U.S. and elsewhere:
12 events that you wish should never happen or at least will change our live completely lists Scientific American magazin in an interactive presentation. Its web science journalism at its best.
Machine learning, the use of cellphones as data collection devices in science, energy efficiency in computing and privacy are the four research topics that Internet gigant Google pursues by university research funding, writes Steve Lohr in a NY Times blog post (1.2.2010). Approx 5.7 million US-Dollars are spent for a dozen university research projects.
As early as year 1928 researchers found clues that blows to the head results in brain injuries and a higher risk of dementia. However, sports managers ignore the scientific facts, writes Deborah Blum in an opinion piece for the NY Times (4.2.2010).
Impact factors and citation indices are a somewhat gold standard to measure quality and productivity of a scientist. But critics question the validity of these measures. Now, Jürgen Kaube writes in FAZ (24.7.2008) about a statistical report on impact factors commissioned by the International Mathematical Union (among others). The conclusion is, the significance of these citation measures like the impact factor or the Hirsch index is poor, if not nil.
Lisa Margonelli reviews in the NY Times (15. June 2008) the book "Bottlemania" by Elizabeth Royte. The message: "So why did Americans spend nearly $11 billion on bottled water in 2006, when we could have guzzled tap water at up to about one ten-thousandth the cost? The facile answer is marketing, marketing and more marketing." We know, tapped water is as good as bottled water, or even better. Royte gives now a broader picture, including political, economic and cultural background. I guess, all speaks for the tap.
William Broad investigates for the NY Times (15.4.2008) whether the Titanic sank in 1912 because the ship's builder used not the best available material for the thousands of rivets but second choice.
Some 50 years ago physicists unraveled the makings of superconductivity -- at least in a first stage for the so-called superconductors of type 1, say the ordinary superconductors. John Bardeen, Leon Cooper and Robert Schrieffer outlined the later dubbed B.C.S. theory (after their initials) in a Physical Review paper, which says, that electric current without resistance in established by the coupling of two electrons (a so-called Cooper pair) via lattice vibrations. Kenneth Chang remembers in a NY Times (8.1.2008) piece the making of. However, in 1986 a second type of superconductors were discovered, the so-called high-temperature superconductors that are still awaiting a concise explanation.
Talking about carbon offsets is en vogue, and Benjamin Lester reports in Science magazine (5.10.2007) how the scientific community addresses the problem of increasing carbon emissions by conference attendees traveling -- mostly by plane -- to the many meetings. Actually, scientist should be more concerned about CO2 emissions released by their (travel) habits. Lester issues travel tips that start with "skip meetings when you can", followed by "ask conference organizers to team with local hotels to reduce linen changes and other waste for conference attendees". Thus far the funny part. Some years ago conference organizers didn't care about the carbon footprint of their meetings. It was merely a private issue of scientists. Now, wind has changed. First, on registration forms you see check boxes for compensation of your CO2 emissions. Second, organizers consider video conferences or a maximum attendance. The reason: Many conferences attract thousands of scientists (Champion is the Neuroscience conference with 35.000 in the year 2005), studies have shown that more than 90 percent of CO2 emissions of a meeting are produced by traveling by plane. One easy step to curb the scientists' emissions is to organize meetings in easy reachable cities with direct flight connections.
Martin Uhlir, a Czech reporter from Prague, publishes in the magazine Respekt Weekly (3.9.2007) an interview with Andrei Linde, a well-known and respected Stanford physicist and cosmologist. Linde talks about his cosmological theory of a single starting point of our cosmos, the Big Bang, "which was like a root of a cosmic tree; the tree which produces bubbles of the new Universes." He talks about God, consciousness, his life in Russia, Russian science, and the prospect of a theory of everything.