A new science communications blog

Dear friends,

As a science writer who actively follows science in the news and works with researchers, students, and teachers, I encounter brilliant and some fairly horrible examples of science communication every day. The goal of this blog is to publish interesting stories about science – written by myself, students, or others – and to serve as a science communication workshop. We’ll consider good and bad examples, watch pieces as they evolve, and develop strategies and guidelines for those who want to improve their skills. We’ll also explore ways to get up-to-date news on science and related issues into classrooms. Finally, the blog will take on themes at the intersection between science and society, such as the potential applications that arise from research, and topics of debate such as the use of genetically modified organisms, stem cell research, and evolution.

This effort is important because of the rising need to communicate science to nonspecialist audiences. It’s even an issue within research groups or institutes. As a colleague at the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) recently told me: “Research at the FMP involves structural biology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology including animal experiments. As a result, chemists, physicists, pharmacologists and biologists who have totally different backgrounds are working closely together.  Their research interests are similar but require a different language and set of tools. This means that in weekly lectures given by one of the 20 group leaders to students at the FMP, students and lecturers often have difficulties understanding each other very well.”

I regularly publish highlight articles on the website of my home institute, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, http://www.mdc-berlin.de, which will be reposted here. I have also written a number of popular books on science, which can be seen at http://www.amazon.com/Russ-Hodge/e/B0024J8XO0/.

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