Monthly Archives: March 2012


Something in the air

Posted 23 March 2012 by Pete Etchells

Obese mouse. Courtesy of Wikipedia. Here’s a fun headline from the Mail Online: "’CO2 in the atmosphere is making us all fatter’: Researcher says we are increasing in size as gas levels go up. The premise of the research is this. Over the course of 22 years, participants have been taking part in a Danish study looking at trends in cardio-vascular disease. One researcher, Lars-Georg Hersoug, noticed that the participants in this study were putting on weight; moreover, it didn’t... Read more

Come on, REF

Posted 21 March 2012 by Pete Etchells

To a post-doc or PhD student, at first glance the upcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) might be something that preoccupies your supervisor or PI for a bit, but not something that is of direct relevance to your working life. That’s what I thought, anyway, up until recently. What is the REF, anyway? Very basically (and correct me if I’m wrong), it’s a time-intensive administrative exercise in figuring out whether your research is of any value. You put forward your best... Read more

Science journalism: time to move the debate on

Posted 14 March 2012 by Pete Etchells

Last night, the Royal Institution hosted a debate on the state of science journalism. I won’t go into detail on the background, but you can get up to speed by reading these Guardian articles by Ananyo Bhattacharya (here and here) and Chris Chambers, and the Nature communities blog has a really nice summary of what went down. I just wanted to offer a few of my thoughts about where we left off last night, but I guess I should start... Read more