Responsibility in using the word ‘research’

Posted 4 July 2013 by Pete Etchells

One of the most annoying things you get asked when you tell people that you’re a psychologist is “Cool! Can you read my mind?” Well, no – I’m not a psychic, but that wouldn’t help, because psychics can’t read people’s minds either. However, it belies a deeper image problem that psychology has; sometimes, it’s not entirely clear what ‘psychologists’ actually do.  Given the diverse range and quality of the psychological research that the mainstream media often presents, this is probably... Read more

Creation: Q&A with Adam Rutherford

Posted 12 April 2013 by Pete Etchells

When it comes to science writing, we are very fortunate to be living in a world of plenty at the moment. Over the past year, we've had the chance to read some excellent books - Spillover by David Quammen, Extremes by Kevin Fong, and Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre all immediately spring to mind. Now, it's the turn of Dr Adam Rutherford - geneticist, science broadcaster, editor at Nature, and lover of Lego. His new book, Creation, is two books... Read more

What’s the deal with dopamine?

Posted 13 March 2013 by Pete Etchells

As part of Brain Awareness Week, March’s SpotOn NYC (#SoNYC) event will look at the challenges of conveying the knowns and unknowns of neural disorders to the public. Preparing for the conversation, SpotOn is hosting a collection of related guest blog posts; contributions will examine the way brain research is communicated to the public and how this research is interpreted by the press. You can join in the online conversation by following the #BeBraiNY and #SoNYC hashtags. This post originally appeared... Read more

That TV and computer craze, which is giving everyone cancer

Posted 8 January 2013 by Pete Etchells

In what I can only assume is an attempt to join the Daily Mail bandwagon of classifying everything depending upon whether or not it's going to kill you, the Daily Mirror today lead with the story that the “TV and computer craze is giving kids cancer”. Well, it's not. Not according to the press release on which the story is based, anyway - it doesn't mention children once. The only data in the story are from a commercial report from... Read more