Sci Comm Scores & Fails, in Our Picks of the Week

[2 – 6 June 2014] The editors’ note about your science week

The news this week seemed to revolve around a theme of communicating science and research results—to greater or lesser success! From the unveiling of MyScienceWork Premium and the crowning of a FameLab champion, to some significant misinterpretations and even a retraction, here is some science that made the news this week.

The news this week seemed to revolve around a theme of communicating science and research results—to greater or lesser success! From the unveiling of MyScienceWork Premium and the crowning of a FameLab champion, to some significant misinterpretations and even a retraction, here is some science that made the news this week.

(Flickr / photosteve101)

On the MyScienceWork Menu:

First of all, we’ve just welcomed a new element to the “MyScienceWorkosphere”: you can now go Premium! A premium account lets you access even more research articles via the platform. All of the open access publications are available, as always, plus now you can find paid articles from the catalogs of partner publishers.

This week the FameLab season reached its climax and came to a close, with two evenings of semi-finals and Thursday’s ultimate round to crown the champion science communicator. France’s and/or America’s own David Davila came in second overall and took home the public’s choice award!

His FameLab France colleague Belén Jiménez-Mena secured the Internet audience’s prize at the French national final in April. Read her story and watch her performance in:

Save the Whales...and the Dairy Cows! Meet FameLab Laureate Belén Jiménez-Mena

Some favorites from around the web:

 

Circulating the web this week were several stories of scientific retraction, “Whoa, hold your horses”, or “That’s not quite what the data shows…”.

Haruko Obokata, the Japanese researcher who insisted she had developed a simple method of creating pluripotent stem cells, even when faced with the irreproducibility her results, has just retracted the second of two papers from the journal Nature.

Key Researcher Agrees to Retract Both Disputed Stem Cell Papers

What was taken to be the long sought-after proof of the Big Bang, may really have been an error in the analysis.

Gravitational waves turn to dust after claims of flawed analysis

And if the news that a hurricane given a woman’s name winds up causing more deaths struck you as crazy, there might be a good reason for that:

No, Female Hurricanes Are Not Deadlier Than Male Hurricanes

 

All hurricanes, regardless of gender, could become deadlier in the future if climate change leads to more severe storms. This week, President Obama announced details of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new plan to cut emissions and curb the change:

Everything You Need to Know About Obama's New Climate-Change Rules

 

In a slightly less life-threatening but still interesting manifestation of our changing world:

If you, too, find your hand cramping up when attempting to write out a simple shopping list, you may want to reflect on…

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades

Given the pathetic, atrophied state of your handwriting muscles, you may want to stick to typing out any novel manuscripts. But for budding sci-fi authors, here’s an assignment that you could still scribble down on paper:

Tell Us A Six-Word Science Fiction Story!

 

Let the science news of the week inspire you, and add your six-word masterpiece to the 743 already submitted!