Science Communication

Category archives for Science Communication

The Hot Zone was first released in 1994, the year I graduated high school. Like many readers, that book and Laurie Garrett’s The Coming Plague* really sparked my interest in infectious diseases. In some sense, I have those books to thank (or blame?) for my career. But I’m still going to criticize The Hot Zone,…

I have a post up today at the Scientific American Guest blog, discussing how an earthquake and denial led to prairie dog plague. It details an outbreak of plague in Victorian San Francisco–the first time plague hit the United States–and the many downstream consequences of that outbreak (which began in 1900 and wasn’t really contained…

Matt Damon: no poo for you

Readers may be familiar with Matt Damon’s charity work with water.org, an organization he co-founded. Water.org seeks to raise awareness of the lack of clean water by almost a billion people on earth, and lack of toilets by almost 2.5 billion–and more importantly, they work to remedy that situation by providing sustainable, local solutions. His…

Ivan Oransky and I moderated a session last week at ScienceOnline, the yearly conference covering all things at the intersection of science and the internets. We discussed the topic ““How to make sure you’re being appropriately skeptical when covering scientific and medical studies.” We started out discussing some of the resources we’d put up at…

Social media evangelism

It’s that time of the year. Spots for ScienceOnline are a hotter commodity than Justin Bieber concert tickets amongst the pre-teen crowd; The Open Laboratory 2011 has just come out in print; and academics are discussing the utility of social media in full force. This topic has long been an interest of mine; with Shelley…

Science denial, I fear, is here to stay. Almost half of Americans believe in creationism. Anti-vaccination sentiment is going strong, despite record pertussis outbreaks. Academics are even leaving their jobs, in part, because of the terrible anti-intellectual attitude in this country. It’s depressing and demoralizing–so what does one do about it? Shawn Lawrence Otto’s “Fool Me…