Monday, November 18, 2013

Finding a Source for Science News

Given that I hate the way the media reports on science, I was intrigued when someone mentioned the Prime Minister's Science Prizes. In particular, one awarded for "Media Communication".

Okay, so I'm not at all a fan of the Prime Minister and I kind of feel sorry for the winner for having to meet the twerp BUT it's important that someone like this is being acknowledged for her work in the area.

So that person - Dr. Siouxsie Wiles - might just be an all new crush (in a "I'm not worthy!" kind of a way as opposed to "You're so dreamy" way. Can admiration be expressed as a crush?). Of course, this is for a whole range of reasons.

Communicating science issues in plain English and emphasising the practical applications of that research is something we're sorely missing yet she sees it as fundamental to science.

She's also a supporter of Open Access. It's roughly speaking, the FLOSS equivalent to science. I've said previously that I have a problem with cancer research and the various fund raising efforts around it. The problem for me lies in the approach. They hit the streets asking people for money to fund their research BUT the research is locked behind patents and the like. In which case, their research (or purchase of research) only really benefits them. If we really wanted to solve these big issues, then the data would be available for others to carry on.

And even more importantly, she's able to go outside of science occasionally and talk about issues that she's passionate about - such as sexism.

You can find her blog here and an article about the award here.

There are probably a whole lot of unsung heroes in this area.

Like  Dr. Fabiana Kubke - who I've mentioned before. She changed my perspective on science and the way it's portrayed significantly and being chair of the advisory panel for Creative Commons Aotearoa, she's a HUGE supporter of open access.

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