Speaking to ‘Speaking of Science…’

A few weeks ago I found myself sitting on a bench underneath the Queens Tower in the Imperial College with Julie Gould from 'Speaking of Science'. Julie is currently finishing up her MSc in Science Communications at Imperial College, and often shares the same experience that many science communicators face when they are asked the … Continue reading Speaking to ‘Speaking of Science…’

The effect of narrative on scientific information – a response to a post by Steve McGann

Today my friend Steve McGann published a blog post, Core Beliefs, in which he highlighted the potential problems of how, in generating a compelling narrative for science documentaries, scientific information can be presented as fact when, in reality, there is much more debate around its credibility. “A confident, coherent narrative in communication can be far … Continue reading The effect of narrative on scientific information – a response to a post by Steve McGann

Narrative: friend to engagement, foe to science?

When a soldier known only as Patient 39 awakes from a coma with no memory, so begins the search to discover his identity and past. This is the teaser for a short film, Patient 39, which I am currently working on. As part of my involvement I have been speaking to our science consultant, Professor … Continue reading Narrative: friend to engagement, foe to science?

What is broadcast media for?*

There is one thing that repeatedly aggravates me, and which I have experienced time and time again in my working life. It’s the phrase, ‘…but that’s what our audience wants’. I recently read an excellent post by Susie Cairns, ‘In algorithms we trust’ and it got me thinking about this phrase again. Although algorithms do … Continue reading What is broadcast media for?*

Save the RI – my two-pennies’ worth…

Detail of a lithograph of Michael Faraday delivering a Christmas lecture at the Royal Institution

Last night, Professor Jim Al- Khalili tweeted: https://twitter.com/jimalkhalili/status/294207217341693952 This is the latest support for the Royal Institution in response to the announcement that its historic building on Albemarle Street may need to be sold due to a dire financial situation. Many have written excellent blogs about why they believe the Royal Institution’s building should be … Continue reading Save the RI – my two-pennies’ worth…

Emotional engagement

'It's very important that scientists work with artists in my opinion, because science produces facts that go to the head. Art produces beautiful things that mainly go to the heart. And if you want to influence people, you can influence the head but if you want them to act you really have to go through … Continue reading Emotional engagement

What science communication could take away from a poem in New York

One need never leave the confines of New York to get all the greenery one wishes—I can't even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there's a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life. From ‘Meditations in an Emergency’ by Frank O’Hara ********** The … Continue reading What science communication could take away from a poem in New York