The Internet of toys: The digital lives of young children

Communication technology is a daily reality for many young children in the form of internet-connected toys and devices. Although these offer real benefits for children, they also present hidden risks, notably relating to privacy. To better understand the challenges presented by toys and devices for children aged 0–8 years, the European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST) programme initiated an Action to develop an interdisciplinary network for researchers to share information and knowledge: The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children (DigiLitEY). Outcomes of this COST ACTION are presented at the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ). Read more [...]
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Climate change: It’s a business matter too

In 1973, a group of scientists published a report linking rising CO2 with global warming and some of the resulting meteorological patterns. It was one of the first publications on what would later be called ‘climate change’. Surprisingly, the report’s authors worked at Munich Re, one of the big players in the global insurance business. “Our industry […] started monitoring this issue long before the public even noted that there was a problem,” says Peter Höppe, head of the company’s Geo Risks Research division based in Germany. Höppe will join the roundtable “Climate: facts, figures and future” at the 4th European Conference of Science Journalism. Read more [...]
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Unbiased reporting can help call time on pseudoscience

In July 2013, a 21-year-old man died of leukaemia in the Spanish city of Valencia. Mario chose to dismiss his doctor’s advice, turned to a so-called expert in 'natural and orthomolecular medicine' and abandoned chemotherapy, choosing instead to fight his illness with alternative medicine. Mario was not, as some might conclude, an uneducated young man who did not know better. He was studying to become a physicist, but even this background did not prevent his believing a charlatan's claims. Tragedies like this beg the question: What can journalism do to better encourage trust in scientific evidence? The 4th European Conference for Science Journalists hel on 26 to 30 June 2017 aimed to answer such questions in a series of sessions that examine the roles of policymakers, citizens, scientists, and science journalists in making scientific facts great again. Read more [...]
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Holding on to lies! Unlocking the cognitive mechanism behind misinformation

Five years ago, the World Economic Forum declared that the spread of misinformation through social media was one of the greatest global risks to our future and prosperity. At that time, the future scale of the threat was still unclear, even to media experts. However, for anybody with the slightest doubt about how rapidly social networks are changing news consumption and its effects, last year was eye-opening and overwhelming. Misinformation and fake news have influenced every major voting process and strengthened science-denial movements — consider how ubiquitous anti-vaccine and climate change scepticism propaganda is. But what are the consequences and the remedies to this? On the 29th of June, this and other questions are the subject of discussion in the 'Science journalism in a post-truth world’ session of the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ2017). Read more [...]
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Artist Olafur Eliasson on art, science and environmental consciousness

I believe art can offer people direct experiences of phenomena … I feel that this is an important step towards motivating people not just to know something but also to respond to it, to feel the urgency of it and to take action. Read more [...]
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A Call for a New Theology for the Modern Age

We cannot go into the future carrying with us the fellow traveller of ancient religions. The time has come for a new form of theology, which is in line with our mathematical understanding of the world. In this opinion piece, mathematician and author Chris Ransford, takes us by the hand on the path to reinventing a new way of looking at God and religion, taking into account our current understanding of the mathematical world to analysis the concept of God. Read more [...]
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Helena González: a stand-up comedian with a scientific flavour

Stand up comedy is very popular. Yet, when Helena González decided this could be a way for her to engage the public about her own research topic, she did not know how the public would respond. Together with colleagues from Big Van Science, she took to the stage back in 2013 and has not left since. Find out more how to turn life in a lab into the most compelling show. Read more [...]
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Lance Dann: behind the scenes of the Blood Culture podcast

There is innovation in the podcast world. The new audio and digital media drama series Blood Culture is case in point, as it goes beyond traditional borders of podcasting by encompassing website, film, life discussion with scientific experts and even and SMS text game. Find out from the mouth of his producer, Lance Dann how this bio-medical thriller series came about. Initially centred on the concept of blood research, it explores people's anxieties of the marketisation of the human body, exploitation of Millennial interns and the pervasiveness of corporate control in our everyday lives. The series results from a combination between creative practice and science, with experts and scientists contributing throughout the development of the narrative. Read more [...]
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Darren Sugrue: the art of crafting science thrillers

Irish author Darren Sugrue talks about how his own experience as a scientist has had an influence on his writing. His novels also reveal a fine analysis of differences between characters from Ireland and The Netherlands, giving his work the level of depth that European readers will enjoy. In this interview with EuroScientist, Sugrue shares his perspective on how science can fit in nicely in works of fictions, as long as it is credible enough to add to the suspense and make for a compelling read. Read more [...]
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Lorenz Adlung: slam poetry makes science more accessible

Lorenz Adlung did not go unnoticed when he took part in the March for Science in Heidelberg, on 22nd April 2017. In this interview, he shares his passion for communicating science in less conventional ways. He also explains his aspiration to associate a wider audience to his scientific journey, and argues why it matters that others follow suit. Included at the end are some samples in German and English of his poetic slams. Read more [...]
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European science conversations by the community, for the community