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Family affairs: public and private cord blood banking in Italy

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Science in the kitchen and beyond: Cooking with Pellegrino Artusi in post-unified Italy

As an historian interested in the public understanding of medicine and health in modern Italy, it was impossible for me to not write about food and its political, social and cultural importance. Italian food is famous all around the world. Almost everyone knows about pasta, pizza and the immense economic and cultural significance of Italian food. However, not many know that Italy’s distinct culinary tradition is a rather recent concept, formed only after the unification of the country (1861). The creation of an Italian diet was part of a political process aimed at improving the health of the new Italian population while also forging a sense of national identity.

In this story about food and national identity there is one individual, Pellegrino Artusi (1820-1911), who contributed more than anyone else to make regional Italian recipes and the language of food known all across the peninsula.
Artusi published in 1891 an extremely successful book about food, recipes and diet: La Scienza …

Behind the Scenes of the “Sharing Science” Podcast

“Sharing Science” is a “pop-up podcast” about science communication, science education, and the relationship between them, featuring short interviews with twelve leading researchers.

Our podcast disseminates academic scholarship in these areas and is intended for researchers, practitioners, and anyone interested in these areas.

A few months after its release, we would like to share some of the "behind the scenes" of this project with you for at least two reasons:

Because our podcast’s content is situated within a unique niche, bridging science communication with another field; And to share the promises and pitfalls of producing a podcast, for readers who wish to produce similar projects of their own.
What is a "Pop-Up Podcast"? We envisioned “Sharing Science” as a “pop-up podcast,” a term we borrowed from pop-up retail shops, which are stores “opened temporarily to take advantage of a faddish trend or seasonal demand.” By analogy, a pop-up podcast is a brief, one-of…

Images of science

Brian Trench delivered a guest lecture entitled "Images in the social conversation of science on occasion of the official inauguration of the Master in Communication of Science, in Trento on October 2nd, 2019.

In his talk, Trench addressed the issue of how images related to science are created by lay people, and how they are externalized and shared in society.
The way science is represented in the collective imagination is often prone to stereotypes. An example of this, as straightforward as illuminating, was triggered by Trench's request to the audience to mentally depict a scientist. It turned out that the most popular image was the by now trite portrait of Albert Einstein. Few attendants represented the scientist as an ordinary person. Even fewer, as a woman -- still quite a long way to go in this respect.
Rigorous assessments of the images of science people have in their mind conducted in more formalized settings, such as focus groups, have been proved to provide analogou…

New Voices: Communication for Diversity and Public Engagement in Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Science shapes our world, but scientific understanding may often seem out of reach to those without a scientific background. We now know that people are more likely to engage with science when they share a cultural background with the messenger - the scientist - yet 81% of Americans cannot name a living scientist, let alone identify a scientist that looks like them.
In 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) launched an initiative designed to bring diverse perspectives from early-career U.S. leaders to important dialogues around how science, engineering, and medicine are shaping the future.

An initial cohort of 18 professionals - New Voices’ in Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - was asked to provide new perspectives on globally important scientific issues, to improve the communication of scientific understanding, and to advocate for innovative strategies to expand the diversity of the scientific workforce.  To achieve the communications goals …

Science for Good? The Effects of Education and National Context on Perceptions of Science

Science is under attack in some quarters. Vaccine and climate change skeptics, for example, argue that scientists misrepresent the threat posed by particular technologies. Others question whether science does more harm than good, altogether. One of the most common beliefs about anti-science attitudes is that they reflect ignorance or inexperience with science.

The assumption is that increasing exposure to science through education and outreach is the key to reducing skepticism of public science and opposition to public policy informed by science. Indeed, surveys in the United States and the United Kingdom consistently find evidence of a link between education and science appreciation. However, there is much less research on science attitudes in non-Western countries and we wanted to know whether the link between education and appreciation of science is universal or whether it depends on the country.  Researchers disagree about why education is associated with more favorable views of sci…

How many people might participate in citizen science – and which groups could be targeted?

By Tobias Füchslin Citizen science projects invite people to become “citizen scientists” and contribute to scientific research. This contribution can range from classifying galaxies online and collecting plant specimens out-side all the way to initiating and running community-based research projects together with scientists. Citizen science not only enables researchers to realise large-scale projects, but also invites the public to learn more about the scientific process and develop an informed opinion about science’s role in society  It is not surprising that the academic world is hoping for an expansion of this inclusive scientific approach.
Unfortunately, hopes and reality do not always match. Citizen science seems to suffer from “participation inequality”. While citizen science has the potential to include diverse publics in scientific knowledge production, studies have shown that citizen scientists are predominantly white, male, highly educated, and highly interested in science.…