09 September, 2010

It's always nice if someone notices

As I said before, quite a few people ended up reading my story about Arabic. Of course that one has my name on it, but today I was at a press launch for the British Science Festival which all the Media Fellows are going to next week, and someone from the British Science Association mentioned a study that looked at what happens when people disagree with scientific findings.

I spotted this study while I was in the Science Radio Unit and researched it, and got the author, and another psychologists looking at attitudes to science, to come on the programme. You can read/listen here. It was actually broadcast after I left the unit so I hadn't put it up here. So it was really nice to know someone had been listening (or, possibly, reading Ben Goldacre's blog, but I like to dream!).

Another story I researched also went out after I left - and in some ways was the most challenging radio story I did. I not only knew nothing about solar cells, but had to look up what a synchrotron was - I researched this one quite early on so it was a rude introduction to "how to use Wikipedia to your advantage". Don't worry, I checked I had all my facts and terms correct with the scientist in question! But perhaps a lesson for the person who wrote the press release? I'm not a physical scientist, but nor are all science journalists, though I am finding that this job makes you incredibly knowledgeable at a surface level about a wide variety of topics. So I now know about theropods, the Cretaceous, the Palaeolithic etc. etc.

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