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Showing posts from February, 2013

This Valentines Day Ask for Evidence

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Today (as with all days of significance) stories tend to appear that are linked to 'science', 'scientists' or 'experts'. Quite often loosely tied to a marketing campaign..

But what do you do if you spot something that might be a dubious claim or story? The Ask for Evidence campaign is a fantastic place to start... and this year they have sent everyone a lovely Valentines Day card titled 'Evidence is our aphrodisiac' .. find out what Voice of Young Science volunteers found out about aphrodisiacs when they asked researchers about various claims - click here (HT to @nonisa for sharing this!)

Some tips for spotting dubious claims and stories:

Where is it published? (On a website? Daily Mail? On a product?) - If you think the source is dubious, then follow up the claim by seeing if anyone else is covering the story, or search for more information online. If they quote any sources or evidence, check those out. Ask for evidence about the claim - and this is wh…

Gender divide in science, what can we do?

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An article on the Guardian website offers advice as to how to reduce the gender divide in science subjects and how to best teach science to girls.

There are a number of problems with the article, nicely outlined by @soozaphone in this blog post. In summary of the article, it was an amalgamation of some US government advice from a large study, some data from recent test results (US) and some strange tips and opinions from 'experts' about how best to teach science to girls, although it isn't entirely clear who provided which pieces of information and advice. For an overview of an evidence based approach to encouraging both genders in science subjects (and recognising potential differences) see this post by Chris Chambers and Kate Clancy in the Guardian.


I believe it needs to be a collaborative effort across society with many small changes that may, slowly create an impact. Kate and Chris discuss here how challenging societal constraints and identifying and addressing structu…