Roger and I have decided to kick off a set of regular blog posts and the occasional video for 2012 and see what responses we get. We shall be posting some provocative (and lighthearted) questions about the philosophy of science, bad science and basically whatever catches our eye, as usual!
Well it looks like science is off to a good start for 2012. Science stories seem to abound at New Year. I see Brian Cox seems to have become virtually ubiquitous, and the Christmas show “Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People” in London sold out quickly. New exoplanets and sub-atomic particles are being discovered almost daily, and forensic science in the UK seems to have finally helped bring Stephen Lawrence’s killers to justice (Lawrence trial: The key evidence ). Scotland has turned into a giant Spirit Level (Loch Ness is giant ‘spirit level’), and stem cells seem to be improving mice lifespans (A shot of young stem cells made rapidly aging mice live much longer and healthier). Good news for cats I suppose.
Sadly here in Canada zero science stories made it into the most searched/viewed list this year (Top Canadian web trends in 2011 – Canada (and much as I would like to, we can’t really count the epic Einstein/Hawking rap battle video).
In technology AI seems to be the current media favourite subject ( AI will change our relationship with tech) perhaps with thoughts of rampaging computers destroying the earth for the (many) 2012 end of world predictions ( it is said the media never met an apocalypse they didn’t like). Less dramatic, but probably more likely to directly affect you and I, new medical devices also seem to be increasing rapidly everywhere (The Promise and the Peril of Medical Devices.) The testing and manufacturers safety standards seems to remain controversial, with the resolution of the Medtronics faulty implantable defibrillator leads being another topic discussed on the CBC this week. However, the ECRI notes the top problems remain the common human user-errors in alarm misuse, exposure to radiotherapy/chemotherapy, med errors, and cross contamination. (Top Health Tech Issues 2012)
Hopefully the good science news will continue, and maybe even the Discovery Channel will finally realize dumbing down and re-running the same 20 second clip twenty times in a single show (with accompanying dramatic music) does not make good television. Fear not, we are sure bad and wierd science and health science stories are out there a-plenty, and We hope to bring some interesting ones to the blog in the coming months.
Happy New Year all,