In the Media

Category archives for In the Media

What Is Color?

This year’s “Flame Challenge” asks scientists to explain color in terms an 11-year-old can understand. The rules limit answers to either 300 words of text or a 6-minute video. 300 words is ridiculously short, so video is clearly the way to go. Of course, I’m not much of a video expert, but then, one of…

Science Journalism vs. Sports Journalism

Over at Backreaction, Bee takes up the eternal question of scientists vs. journalists in exactly the manner you would expect from a physicist: she makes a graph. Several of them, in fact. It’s generally a good analysis of the situation, namely that scientists and journalists disagree about how to maximize information transfer within the constraints…

Uncertain Dots, Episode 4

I didn’t advertise it heavily this time, but Rhett and I did another G+ hangout yesterday, and the video is online now: We talked for a while about the wonders and importance of VPython coding (including some “Oh, I should totally do that…” moments), where we get post ideas (including a discussion of luge physics),…

The Social Construction of Gravity

One of the more annoying points of contention back in the days of the Sokal hoax and the “Science Wars” was an argument over social construction. This is, loosely speaking, the idea that our understanding of the world is not strictly rational and objective, but is heavily influenced by interactions with other people, and the…

Uncertain Dots: Episode 3

This week’s hangout with Rhett Allain, in which we talk about how we got into physics, how we find stuff to read, what we enjoyed on physics blogs this week, what we do and don’t like about Twitter, and the revenge of the Sith. The specific blog posts we mentioned: Frank Noschese’s analysis of gravity…

Sports Are Science

Unless you’ve been marooned on a desert island for the last couple of weeks– or, you know, foreign– you’re probably at least dimly aware that the Super Bowl is this evening. This is the pinnacle of the football season, and also the cue for lots of people to take to social media proclaiming their contempt…

When I wrote about Benjamin Bratton’s anti-TED rant I only talked about the comment about the low success rate of TED suggestions. That was, admittedly, a small piece of his article, but the rest of it was so ludicrously overheated that I couldn’t really take it seriously. It continues to get attention, though, both in…

Journalism of the Gaps

I’ve seen a bunch of links to this interview with Peter Aldhous, mostly focusing on this quote: I think for most science journalists, their model of journalism is explanatory. It’s taking the arcane world of the high priests and priestesses of science and translating what they do into language the ordinary mortal can understand. And…

The Sagan Thing

I am crushingly busy right now– massive book rewrites needed, papers to grade, etc.– so I’ve actually been fairly happy with the general lack of topics that inspire a deep desire to blog. which of course, was promptly upset this morning, when a brief outburst of hating on Carl Sagan erupted on Twitter just as…

Over the weekend, before the whole Scientific America debacle blew up, Ben Lillie tweeted: Looking for science news pegs that aren't "a paper was published." Good examples? #ScioOcean #scionew — Ben Lillie (@BenLillie) October 12, 2013 This is, of course, a familiar problem to a lot of people who care about the public dissemination of…