Science online

Several interesting discussions and presentations regarding science and journalism, which had been organized during this year’s Science Festival in Göteborg, can currently be viewed on the education channel of Swedish TV.  One of the speakers was Alok Jha, science reporter at The Guardian, who explained and demonstrated the online science resources set up by The Guardian.  The story he told sounded so extremely interesting that I had to have a look at the Guardian’s science pages, blogs, podcasts, and videos. This online resource offers short science reports, notes, blogs, videos and podcast, including blogs from scientists who are not affiliated with the newspaper, but have gotten space to write about science and about their thoughts in general.

One of the first reports I stumbled upon on The Guardian science online had actually been written by Chris Stringer, one of the lecturers in our evening course on Human Evolution, and had been published online today. Chris writes about “the long and winding road to modern man”. Next I found an interesting article about the threat of geo-engineering – loads of money is pumped into research on geo-engineering, such as blasting sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight into space; depositing massive quantities of iron filings into the oceans; and bio-engineering crops to be a lighter colour to reflect sunlight; and suppressing cirrus clouds. The idea is that these strategies would combat greenhouse gas emissions!!! But who knows where they will lead to in the end? Many scientists have made it clear that far too little is known about the effects of these technologies, while others already have financial interests, and even patents.

The Anthropocene – the most recent part in geological history is discussed in a podcast. The term Anthropocene has recently surfaced to determine the time interval since the industrial revolution, when humans started to manipulate planet Earth, and to move Earth out of the comparably stable climate of the past 11 700 years. Not only have carbon dioxide levels risen, but also an enormous change in biology (loss of natural forests and savannas, loss of species, increased number of evasive species) has taken place. Together with other variables this would justify the introduction of a new geological era.

From The Guardian I crawled on to Newton TV, where loads of great science films can be viewed online. Have a look yourself! I will probably be so bold as to send Under the Eyes of the Buddha, Part 1 and Part 2a and Part 2b to Newton TV and ask them what they think about the films! Good news is that the Nobel Museum in Stockholm will show Under the Eyes of the Buddha on their homepage after summer! One can’t wish for more!

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