Day One of Venice: Biggest Science Communication Challenge is the Privatization of Research
There was a clear consensus focus to presentations and comments at the first day of the Venice workshop on science communication and public engagement: The biggest future challenge will be the increasing privatization of research and the resulting "hyping" of scientific claims.
In the U.S., when it comes to science communication, conventional wisdom laments either the politicization of science, religious opposition, or perceived public ignorance.
But for many science communication experts, including those here in Venice, the biggest threat to continued public support and trust in science will be privatization, conflicts of interest, and commercial hype. This even extends to university press offices and scientific journals, who as one journalist in attendance put it, appear to be increasingly less interested in communicating about research and more interested in gaining publicity and media prominence.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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