#SciLogs Weekly Roundup: Biological Warfare, History Of The Plague, Shrinking Fish, E-science

15 June 2013 by Khalil A. Cassimally, posted in SciLogs

Every weekend, I publish a roundup of the week’s SciLogs.com blog posts along with some reactions from the comment feeds and social media.

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Blog to watch this week: We have a new blog about the history of science! And it’s off to a superb start. Blogger Annelie Wendeberg begins her tenure on ScienceZest with a new series about the history of biological warfare. It’s not pretty but does make for great reading.

Quote of the week: "Emperor Barbarossa poisoned water wells with human bodies in Italy. The Tartars catapulted their own dead soldiers into the besieged city of Kaffa, the Spanish mixed wine with blood of leprosy patients to sell to their French foes, the Polish fired saliva from rabid dogs into the faces of their enemies, and the British distributed blankets from smallpox patients among Native Americans." - Annelie Wendeberg.

More weekend reading: Malcolm Campbell curates the past week’s best science stories.


Two blog post series that you should check out this week:

Kausik Datta has three blog posts about the plague that looks at the common causative bacteria Yersina pestis as well as how scientists are using modern technology such as genetic data analysis to dwell into history and understand the biggest plagues humankind succumbed to. (No wonder Dan Brown made such a fuss about plague in his latest novel!)

Kausik Datta: Yersina pest(is) a persistent bug(ger)

Kausik Datta: Plague epidemics plaguing human history

Kausik Datta: Gene detectives place Yersinia pestis at the scene of Plague Pandemics of yore

Annelie Wendeberg starts her new history blog with a series about the history of biological warfare.

Annelie Wendeberg: Biological Warfare

Annelie Wendeberg: The Poor Man’s Bomb


Kerstin Hoppenhaus: Grapes for Apes

Mićo Tatalović: Danube region strategy yielding gains in research, seeking science support

Danny Haelewaters: Climate change and shrinking fishes

Matt Shipman: Making the Transition from Reporter to PIO

Shannon Bohle: What is E-science and How Should it be Managed?

Laura Nielsen: Under pressure: Arctic trends sparking extreme weather at large

Paul Maughan on SciLogs.com’s Google+ page:

Atmospheric circulation collapses in the northern hemisphere,unprecedented ice loss, 20 day storms.scary stuff.

Paige Brown: What Does One Do with a PhD in Mass Communication (of Science)?

Kerstin Hoppenhaus: Anthropologists don’t need stairs

Paige Brown: When Glaciers Get Dirty: Attack of the Cryoconites

Mićo Tatalović: Western Balkans’ integration in European research area: challenges and solutions

Malcolm Campbell: You must remember this...

Alex Brown: The general public is like a misused apostrophe

Jamie Callagher:

[...] I don't mind the phrase the general public as a broad term. Science festivals are for the general public. Next you have to take the public en masse and filter a bit more. When I design a show I tend not to use the phase. I wouldn't sell a show to a sci fest as being for the general public. I tend to go with "family audience" or "scientifically interested but non expert adults" or a [conference] is "expert audience"

To me the general public is too big a target audience and most communicators should limit it down, even in their own mind.

Jalees Rehman:

[...] I see my audience as a continuum, with varying degrees of specialist knowledge. general public" refers to a very broad audience that can contain stem cell biologists, physicists, plumbers, bank executives, teachers, etc. and it forces me to adapt my vocabulary and style accordingly [...]

Tania Browne: Traffic Light Statistics

Malcolm Campbell: Morsels for the mind – 14/6/2013

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