I volunteer my ovum in the service of cloning more Carl Zimmers.
Hes got a laymen-science appropriate-yet-not-dumbed-down-to-the-point-of-being-wrong article on the New York Times on one of the many ways we use viral evolution in the lab.
A decade ago, scientists began running experiments that suggested the idea just might work. In one study, Dr. Lawrence A. Loeb, a University of Washington geneticist, and his colleagues eradicated H.I.V. in vitro by applying a mutation-increasing drug to infected cells. Reporting their results, Dr. Loeb’s group dubbed this kind of attack “lethal mutagenesis.”
Lethal mutagenesis appealed to many scientists at first, because it seemed to be a radically new way to fight viruses. But 10 years after its initial successes, lethal mutagenesis has not made its way to the drug store. Scientists have had to grapple with difficult questions about whether lethal mutagenesis can be safe and effective.
“That’s a common thing in biomedical research,” Dr. Mansky said. “People get ideas, but then there are roadblocks and the excitement dies down.”
Oh my god a journalist reporting realistic science???
And I dont know whether he knew it or not, but I have MAJOR mind-crushes on Esteban Domingo and Susanna Manrubia (one study he writes about). An interview or Q&A between me and Esteban would consist of:
Esteban: … Ummm…
Me: EEEEEEEEEHEEHEEHEE!!! *runs away giggling*
Esteban: … Okay… hmm.
NOTE: I am not exaggerating. This happened irl with Susana. She was at the viral evolution conference I went to a while back. I didnt feel bad though, cause someone else I really looked up to did the same thing (okay, he got a couple real Qs in between his *SQEEEE!!*s).
But this excellent piece of work reminded me of a blogpost over at Angry Astronomer on ‘science communcation’ I meant to link you all to a while back. A FAIL of such epic proportions it seems like it should have been written by Mooneytits.
But the article that really bugged me was How Can We Make a Friend Out of an Enemy? How astronomers and journalists can get along better. I think it’s the most disingenuous piece of tripe I’ve ever come across.
The reason? It makes me damn well never want to speak to a journalist again. The entire article is a poor justification on why journalists screw up the science so badly and tries to make the point that if we want to interact with journalists, it should be entirely on their self-serving terms
I already told Carl if I ever have major news, Im talking to him and only him, as far as journalists go. He has built a solid foundation of trust with scientists, and readability with laypeople in a way other science journalists, apparently, wont.