I recently attended the SpotOn conference in London. As well as running a workshop, I set up a game of buzzword bingo, and a caption competition. Below are the results of the latter. You can read all the entries in the comments section under the competition post. Honourable mentions The following people came very close to winning: Eva Amsen, who added a slightly unflattering photo of me to the selection (though I am slightly proud of my laptop-as-tray sandwichbalancing skills)... Read more
Alex Brown: ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With a deep fascination for the way ideas are expressed, Alex Brown brings together the worlds of languages and science. Having been brought up bilingually and as a student of science & science communication, he likes to join the dots between concepts in different cultures.
Alex received his BSc Natural Sciences from the University of Bath, UK. His final year project was an investigation into the effects of bilingualism on scientific thought.
He has recently completed the MSc Science Communication at the University of the West of England, UK, with a focus on science writing and hands-on science communication. His thesis project was an evaluation of the schools outreach programme at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK.
He blogs about his other interests, namely volunteer student charity fundraising ("rag" in the UK) and the little-known sport of floorball, on his own website.
You can get in touch with Alex in English, French or German on Twitter at @alex_brovvn.
Alex Brown: All Posts
On Tuesday night, Fred Sanger died. For those of you not familiar with Sanger, suffice it to say for now that he was a very important scientist. He won two Nobel prizes (count.them.) for chemistry, though his work has had huge repercussions in biology and medicine. He pioneered the field of protein and, later, DNA sequencing. You can read more about his life and work in other places (eg a brief autobiography on the Nobel Prize website). What I want... Read more
I was recently introduced to a German word which I had never come across before: Luftballonweitflugwettbewerb. (thanks, 4TuneQkie) It's not in particularly common use (my online search engine turns up only about 5000 results). Nonetheless, I think it's a really fun word to say and wish it came up more in conversation. So like General Melchett, I'd like you to make a note of it, Darling. However, the thing it denotes is somewhat ... conflicting. Luftballonweitflugwettbewerb is a compound noun.... Read more
[TL;DR: #solo13 caption competition and NEW photo-editing competition, deadline = 1pm CET on Thursday 21 November; prize = postcard from CERN.] UPDATE: the deadline has passed. Thanks to everyone who took part. I'll go over the entries and come up with a winner soon. Last week, I was at the Science Policy, Outreach and Tools Online (SpotOn) conference in London. This post may not be of much interest to any of you who weren't also there. Why not read this... Read more
As mentioned in a previous post, last week I ran a workshop at the Science Policy, Outreach and Tools Online (SpotOn) conference in London (also known as solo13). The aim of the session was to spark conversations about the use of jargon. To do this, we used the "Upgoer5" text editor to translate the abstract of a scientific paper using only the thousand most common English words, then discussed the challenge presented by the concept of "jargon" in online science... Read more
>Click here to skip intro straight to game instructions. Note: If you're neither attending Spot On London 2013 nor following any of the live streams, feel free to stop reading here. For the rest of you, normal service will resume next week. BINGO Today, I've been at the Science Policy, Outreach and Tools Online (SpotOn) conference taking place at the British Library in London (also known as Solo 13). It continues tomorrow, so I thought I'd take the chance half-way... Read more
I came across this video (thanks, Jon) I like this song for many reasons. Showing the human face of science in a fun way, the catchy tune, the slightly awkward rhymes... But what struck me most was the pronunciation of the word "pipette". For those of you who aren't familiar, a pipette is a piece of equipment used in laboratories to move very small amounts (right the way down to millionths of a litre) of liquid from one container to... Read more
SpotOn On Friday & Saturday this week, I will be attending a conference run by Nature Publishing Group at the British Library in London. The event is called Science Policy, Outreach and Tools Online, which is shortened to SpotOn London, which is shortened in turn to Solo. Yeah... science communication conferences are somewhat renowned for using obscure acronyms. But let's be forgiving, this is an industry-internal event after all. The bulk of the conference programme is taken up by panel... Read more
"In Germany, a baby's a baby except they call it das Baby." Germany recently became the first country in Europe to allow children with indeterminate sex organs to be registered on their birth certificate as neither male nor female. Over on Scientaisies, his blog on the French SciLogs network, Didier Nordon asks whether the German language itself may have been a factor in the law being passed there rather than in France (as far as I know, it hasn't been... Read more
If you're in London this evening with nothing in particular to do (forgive me if this seems like a strange notion but it actually happens to me sometimes), I recommend you go to the Story Collider to listen to some true stories about what science is really like. The "human face", as it were. What? The Story Collider Wait, what? 5 true stories about what it's like to live in a world full of science. The theme is "Inside Out".... Read more