Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Communicating Science

During the last week I read "Communicating Science" by Nicholas Russel. This book was not a how to on science communication, but more a number of philosophical essays. The author points out that the outreach phase came from scientists, rather than from the general public. He gave some examples of citizens jurys, who tried to decide on the type of research that should be followed. Good luck with trying that with a high energy theorist.

There was even some discussion of science fiction. I was amused to see the claim that Fred Hoyle wrote a science fiction story about viruses/bacteria from outer space starting life, before he had written any scientific articles.

I didn't realize that Nature was started as a popular science journal.

It would be interesting to write a history of popular physics, from Feynman to Hawking. Given the amount of controversy over Krauss's book it might be interesting. I am still ashamed that I read the
Tao of physics before I went to University. Umm, Capra has an interesting publishing history in physics. He was an expert in Chew's bootstrap theory of particle physics that is no longer used after the development of the standard model of particle physics in the middle 70s.

I can almost see the plan of the book. I could start from Mr Tomkins (that I have never read, but will one day and end with the self promotion books of modern scientists. Perhaps somebody reading this blog will give me a book deal. I could get a joint position in a media studies department of the basis of that (boy that would make me cool).

On the other hand I want to call the book: "a short history of bullshit", so it is probably best if just scribble a couple of posts in this blog. I know my place.