Archive for September 16th, 2010

Best American Science Writing 2010 Is Out!

By Chris Mooney | September 16, 2010 12:59 pm

Best American Science Writing 2010As noted previously, we have an article in this latest edition of the annual collection, edited by Jerome Groopman and Jesse Cohen. It’s a piece entitled “Unpopular Science,” which previously appeared in The Nation, and it’s about the economically and technologically driven decline of science journalism.

In his introduction to the new collection, Groopman has this to say of the piece:

…accessible yet accurate science writing–which marks all of the writing of this collection–could be an endangered species, according to Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum. In their Nation piece “Unpopular Science,” they rightly bemoan the rapid loss of expert science writers from the journalistic world. The public desperately needs experienced interpreters to present in a lucid and true way all of the mystery and marvels of scientific advancement; laymen should hear as well the voices of skeptics who question whether the mystery has actually been solved and whether the marvel is truly so marvelous. I share the deep pessimism of these writers about the prospects for quality science reporting, but hold out the belief that there will hopefully still be a place in the orchestra for those who play their instruments with precision and are true to the score.

You can order the latest edition of Best American Science Writing here.

The Other Carbon Dioxide Problem

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 16, 2010 10:31 am

I am pleased that my post last week on ocean acidification received a good deal of attention around the web because this critical subject rarely makes news. I’d also like to point readers to the National Academies latest podcast on the very same topic and encourage everyone to listen and share the episode. Here’s a synopsis:

Ocean Acidification: The Other Carbon Dioxide Problem (Tue, 14 Sep 2010 12:06:39 -0400)

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean makes the water more acidic and leads to a suite of chemical changes collectively known as ocean acidification. The long term consequences of ocean acidification are not known, but are expected to result in changes to many ecosystems and the services they provide to society. This podcast gives an overview of the current state of knowledge, explores gaps in understanding, and identifies several key findings.  Read the Report Online

All of the NAS Sounds of Science podcasts can be found here.

Science Communication Exercise: Why is Jeremy Jackson's TED Talk So Effective?

By Chris Mooney | September 16, 2010 7:56 am

I’m doing more sci comm training, and as I prep, I’ve found another great video that teaches a great lesson.

Here it is: Marine biologist Jeremy Jackson’s TED Talk, “How We Wrecked the Oceans.” In my opinion, it’s a very effective talk…but the question is, why? What makes it work?

I have many ideas about this–and the answer is multifaceted–but I’d like to hear what others think:

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