Dear Scientists, Come Down From Your Ivory Tower.
PLOS SciComm
by mosesa
1w ago
By Ashley Moses, edited by Andrew S. Cale Each year, millions of scientific research papers are published. Virtually none of them can be understood by a general audience. And, not many scientists are doing anything about this. I am a Neurosciences PhD student at Stanford University who has seen firsthand the issues associated with inaccessible academic publishing. Science is the process by which we create and share knowledge for and with the world. We cannot forget the sharing part. Not only does the inaccessibility of research hinder many people from learning about scientific advancements but ..read more
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Talking Trash for Ten Years: Interview with Children’s Author Patricia Newman
PLOS SciComm
by billsullivan
3w ago
Children’s author (and PLOS SciComm contributor) Patricia Newman is celebrating a landmark anniversary of her renowned book on improving our environment. In this interview with PLOS SciComm editor Bill Sullivan, she reflects on the book’s success and shares strategies for communicating science to people of all ages. Sullivan: Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of your book, Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch! What drove your interest in climate change, particularly with respect to plastics as pollution? Newman: Thank you! Plastic, Ahoy! c ..read more
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What “12 Angry Men” Teaches Us about the Art of Persuasion
PLOS SciComm
by billsullivan
1M ago
This acclaimed courtroom drama offers valuable lessons for science communicators Bill Sullivan We often find ourselves at an impasse with others and wonder why they can’t see things our way. Our conversations sour as frustrations mount and tempers flare. The promise of a healthy dialogue quickly deteriorates, and relationships erode as a result. Scientists and physicians often become flustered, baffled, and even outraged when communicating with a public that is awash in misinformation. Experts can lose sight of what it is like to be surrounded by a whirlpool of confusing and contradictory news ..read more
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Shifting the Balance from Animals to New Approach Methods: We’re Working Toward It!
PLOS SciComm
by billsullivan
2M ago
Barbara L. F. Kaplan and William Slikker, Jr.             Animals and animal models have been used for centuries to provide us with an understanding of basic physiology, disease processes, and treatment options for disease. For instance, while insulin is recognized today as an essential drug for those with Type I diabetes, it took many years of animal studies to understand basic regulation of glucose levels, identify that lack of glucose control leads to a life-threatening disease, and ultimately, purify and use insulin from anim ..read more
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SoapBox Science Coimbra: Women researchers share science on the streets
PLOS SciComm
by carolinalebre
3M ago
By Ana Santos-Carvalho and Carolina Lebre, edited by Andrew S. Cale Excessive use of technical jargon can be a significant barrier to the general public’s ability to learn scientific knowledge. An increasing number of scientists have recognized this issue and the importance of communicating with broader audiences. As a result, many are leaving the confines of their laboratories to share their scientific research with the general public in a more accessible manner. SoapBox Science, an international science communication initiative inspired by the Hyde Park speaker’s corner, is one such event th ..read more
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Top 13 Discoveries in Human Evolution, 2023 Edition
PLOS SciComm
by ascale
4M ago
By Ryan McRae and Briana Pobiner, edited by Andrew S. Cale In 2023, the field of human evolution benefited from a plethora of new discoveries. In this article, Drs. Briana Pobiner and Ryan McRae of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History detail some of the most interesting and impactful discoveries. -ASC The year 2023 was another exciting year for research in human evolution. Many of the top stories this year tell us more about our early ancestors’ and relatives’ diet, tool use, and the environment in which they lived. Others provide evidence for behaviors: hunting, maki ..read more
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Promoting science for all: how European Researchers’ Night could unlock science in rural Portugal.
PLOS SciComm
by billsullivan
5M ago
In a world where the wonders of science are no further away than a Google search or a science museum field trip, it is easy to forget that many communities still find themselves on the fringes of science. This is especially true in rural heartlands as it is the case of Armamar or Resende, in Portugal, where access to science is a distant dream for many. Nestled in the Douro region, from the depths of Portugal’s interior, these communities face unique challenges, from dwindling populations to the burdens of an aging demographic. For residents of Armamar and Resende, the thirst for kno ..read more
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The Science of Zombies: “The Last of Us” and Beyond
PLOS SciComm
by Michael Liesen
10M ago
By Elizabeth Fusco, edited by Michael Liesen Infection and pandemics have never been more relevant globally, and zombies have long been used to express this fascination in pop culture. Given the interest in zombies in American popular culture, Elizabeth Fusco connects zombies to a scientific context with this piece. -ML From horror movies to children’s toys, zombies are a staple in American pop culture. The word zombie arises from sugar cane plantations in Haiti, where the word zonbi describes one’s soul. The slaves on these plantations believed a sorcerer could cast a spell to turn a person i ..read more
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A Call for Equity in Research and Healthcare
PLOS SciComm
by Michael Liesen
11M ago
In literature, Joseph Campbell pointed out in his book The Hero with A Thousand Faces that crossing the threshold is an essential step along the hero’s journey. This step is going from the familiar to the unknown, where the hero leaves behind home and ventures out into the world for the first time, whether it is Luke Skywalker leaving the planet or Dorothy taking her first steps onto the yellow brick road. This step is generally when the call to action is accepted in a story. Unfortunately, in life, our stories are rarely this neat, and in Dr. Amelia Knopf’s case, it ..read more
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Top 14 Discoveries in Human Evolution, 2022 Edition
PLOS SciComm
by Jason Organ
1y ago
This year—2022—has been another exciting year for research in human evolution. With many projects around the world proceeding despite the COVID pandemic, there were multiple exciting discoveries and breakthroughs in a variety of fields. From telling us more about our food, our health, our close relatives and ancestors, and even our animal friends, these new discoveries shed more light on what it means to be human.  Meat, fire, and beer: the origins of our modern food staples and how they shaped our species For decades one of the hallmarks of human evolution has been the presumed shift fro ..read more
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