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22/10/2014

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Blog

Welcome to the blog, you can read all about the latest news for the sections and take a look in our archive. Scroll through the latest posts below, or select a section from the dropdown.

by Imran Khan, Chief Executive of the British Science Association. Imran discusses the history behind the upcoming Huxley debate and why we've decided to go back to our roots.

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The British Science Association is launching the first in a new series of Huxley debates at our Festival this September, with the upcoming debate focusing on epigenetics. But why are we doing this?

by Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation, who will be discussing whether a "cure" for ageing is within reach at the British Science Festival on Monday 9 September.

by Katherine Mathieson, Director of Education at the British Science Association

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Recent coverage of this year’s A-level results shows that the proportion of girls doing A-levels in physics and maths is dropping. Richard Garner writing for the Independent says that boys accounted for 79.3% of physics entries (3.8% higher than last year) and 60.1% of maths entries (3.9% higher than last year).

It’s a question that many dog owners would likely answer "yes" to.

But, how much can dogs actually understand us?

James May has answered this question for his latest Q+A on the Head Squeeze channel.

The National Science + Engineering Competition travelled to 12 of The Big Bang Near Me Fairs across the UK gathering over 1000 questions from young people to pass on to James.

In the end, James decided to answer a question by Luke from Durham Johnston Comprehensive about his dog.

At this year’s British Science Festival, Star Speaker Lord Robert Winston will be talking about a new bill that he’s sponsoring to bring transparency about animal testing to medical packaging. Animal research is always a hotly debated topic in science, and Dan Richards of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research explains the progress his team is working towards.


Sarah Castell, head of public dialogue on science at Ipsos MORI, analyses how some science stories are reported online, using initial findings from our Public Attitudes to Science social media research.

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Do you remember the horsemeat scandal? How about the Russian Meteor strike?  Which of them do you remember more clearly?  Horsemeat, right? I bet you’ve got a couple of horsemeat jokes, too.

By Alan Mercer, Programme Director for Sciencewise.

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Is space technology still in the realms of science fiction?  Well, that very much depends on your definition of space.  We may still be some way away from warp drives, matter transfer technology (beam me up, Scotty!) and the all-seeing tricorder, but for us all technological developments in space are creating significant benefits and potential issues for society.

Ollie ChristophersOllie Christophers has worked in science communications since graduating from the Cardiff University School of Journalism and Business School. He has since worked for organisations such as the Met Office, Department of Health and British Science Association and these are his views about the impact of the Public Attitudes to Science Survey.

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Hold the front page! One of the top findings of the 2011 Public Attitudes to Science survey was that over 80% of the UK public think they should take an interest in science! With £4.6bn of taxpayer’s money being ploughed into it each year, not to mention the capital expenditure on top, you’d hope 80% would take at least an interest. Now in 2013, we’re about to have another round of questioning on public attitudes to science, but with bigger and deeper cuts to public expenditure looming, the PAS survey needs to provide more valuable insights than ‘the public are interested in science and half want to hear more’.

By Toby Shannon, Science in Society Officer at the British Science Association.

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This May on the Brighton seafront a sight more commonly seen in areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan joined visitors to England’s South coast, braving the unseasonably dreadful weather. Passers-by saw the life-size silhouette of a Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (these are also known as “drones”) – a stubby fuselage and two wide wings sprawling across the promenade, just down the road from Brighton’s iconic pier. However, unlike similar sights in war-torn parts of the world, this wasn’t the shadow cast by a hovering drone nearby but an art installation as part of the 2013 Brighton Festival. Under the Shadow of the Drone by James Bridle makes what can be a distant and unfamiliar technology to many, a visible presence in a public space.

by Alice Taylor-Gee, Science in Society Manager at the British Science Association

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As the new Public Attitudes to Science survey is underway, I was interested to find out exactly how, or if, science communicators use the data from the previous PAS studies in their work, whether it impacts on the projects they run or helps them target certain audiences. I posted this question to the 2,500 or so science communicators who subscribe to the psci-com discussion list and was really interested to read how varied the uses of the data are.

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