Posts Tagged ‘news’

Antenna is a science news site from the Science Museum in London.  It highlights the latest news stories about science, technology, medicine, the environment and innovation, producing short, easy-to-read summaries of recent developments. 

The Antenna site could be useful for keeping up-to-date, and for identifying topics that you want to explore in more depth.  In addition to the website, you can follow the Antenna team on Twitter.


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GIST (Glasgow Insight into Science and Technology) covers news stories about science in Glasgow and elsewhere.  Recent topics have included “can Glasgow become the smartest energy user in the UK?“, an article about the clothing worn by forensic investigators, and “user-friendly onions“!  They currently post online, and hope to start podcasts and a magazine in the future.

GIST is mostly run by students from Glasgow and Strathclyde universities, but if you’d like to get involved they are looking for more people: “Any level of participation is welcome, so whether you want to help shape the whole future of the group, get involved in writing, editing, design, broadcasting, events or just have a single story you think we should cover, please get in touch“.

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NHS Choices runs a “behind the headlines” website, which looks at current news reports of healthcare advances and explains the scientific breakthroughs behind these stories.  It is an excellent site for getting balanced coverage of health-related discoveries, with analysis of the primary research provided at a level suitable for non-specialist scientists and health care workers.  The site often highlights the hyperbole used in newspaper headlines, such as a recent Daily Express headline suggesting a “Cure for most cancers ‘soon’” – NHS Choices balances this with “this was a preliminary laboratory study and no such drug has yet been found. Such a wide-ranging cure is much further away than the headline suggests.”

A weekly email bulletin with the week’s top ten stories is also available from NHS Choices – Behind the Headlines.

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pile of newspapersProfessor Dorothy Bishop from the University of Oxford is offering a £50 prize for the nominator of the most inaccurate newspaper article about a piece of academic research … 

Orwellian prize for journalistic misrepresentation

I am offering a prize each year for an article in an English-language national newspaper that has the most inaccurate report of a piece of academic work.

The article must purport to report results of academic research, and judgement will be based on a points scoring system, as follows:

  • Factual error in the title: 3 points
  • Factual error in a subtitle: 2 points
  • Factual error in the body of the article: 1 point

More details, including how to nominate, at http://deevybee.blogspot.com/2010/06/orwellian-prize-for-journalistic.html

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A mid-month roundup of some recent science reports from blogs and news sites.

Soccer Refs Subconsciously Call More Fouls on Plays to the Left

“Referees are more likely to make foul calls when they see the action moving from right to left, or leftward, according to a new study by brain researchers at the University of Pennsylvania” – from wired.com

Henrietta Lacks: the mother of modern medicine

Cells from Herietta Lacks, who died of cervical cancer in 1951, have been used in the development of  the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping, IVF, and many other medical advances.  Read more about her life, and the events after her death, in this article on The Guardian website.


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The American Mathematical Society produce a monthly digest, Math in the Media, which highlights maths stories in the popular press.  Magazine and newspaper articles are summarised in the digest, and links are provided to the full text. 

Math in the Media does have a strong US bias, but could be useful if you are looking for interesting articles to illustrate the practical application of maths, or explanations of mathematical concepts that are aimed at a general readership.

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Physics news

physics.org logoThe Institute of Physics’ website regularly publishes articles about topical physics issues, such as analysis of the ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and new findings from Nasa’s Mars Explorer. With links to news stories from other organisations, this is a useful website both for keeping up to date, and for preparing for job interviews where you may be asked to discuss a science story from the news.

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