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Happy Birthday! Dr Stu’s blog is one year old today!

Birthday cakeToday, Dr Stu’s blog is one year old – cue the cake and candles!

This little experiment to write about science, health and technology in an understandable way has been extremely well received and continues to be read by an increasing number of people. After a few weeks of writing practice, the blog officially went live on 26th October 2010 with the acquisition of realdoctorstu.com.

This humble blog has now been read by over 85,000 people, and on also shares its Birthday with the recording of “Under Pressure” by Queen (a legendary song), Churchill’s 1951 election victory and the unarguably great actor Bob Hoskins.

Incidentally, this is my 100th post – but In case you didn’t read all of them, here are some of the highlights from the past 365 days, and why there is an ever-pressing need for science blogging on the internet…

The Highlights so far…

Most read article:
The Mystery of the Itchy Nose (9,000+ readers): a discussion hypothesising the reason for my wife’s itchy nose after eating.

Most controversial piece:
The IQ Myth and its Fascist origins (with a fair amount of Mensa mud-slinging in reader’s comments)

beer glass fullMost famous post:
The Future of Nuclear Power after Fukushima: Thorium Reactors? (republished in the Tampa Tribune and referenced in the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe)

Most searched for on a Saturday night:
Why do we eat fatty foods after drinking alcohol?

Most notable:
The Guardian Science Writing Prize 2011: My Entry – “A Seizing Experience” (Short-listed for the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Award 2011)

Watershed Moment:
The start of digital-lifestyle magazine ‘Guru’ (1st July 2011)

Least popular:
The Next Legal High: Sun Tanning? (only 62 readers)

The Future? Why science writers must continue to get their message out.

This blog will continue. As will the new venture ‘Guru’ magazine – which the sole aim of communicatingscience to a non-academic adult audience in a deliberately light-hearted and (hopefully) engaging way. Why? Because misconceptions, misunderstandings, and anti-science propaganda continue to thrive – and many say are on the rise…

Post-Explosion Mad Scientist CostumeThere is still a great divide between scientists and the general public. Despite heavy government investment in breaking down the barriers, a report published last month in the journal Public Understanding of Science concluded that the majority of scientists in the USA and UK think::

  • The public are mostly uninformed about science
  • The media consistently misrepresents scientific discoveries
  • Scientists need to have a greater say in political decision-making

These opinions are not wholly without substance: Recent surveys show that up to one in six people believe mobile phones are a major cause of global warming. The highly respected Science journal recently reported that low rates of ‘scientific literacy’ persist and very few people have a decent grasp of the way science progresses.

So I shall continue writing, and try to play my part – even if only in a small way.

Please feel free to write your suggestions, feedback and comments for the year to come… (can I have my cake now?)


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Guru Magazine

Issue Two is now out - it's free!

BORED WITH SCIENCE WRITING? I was – but I’ve been lucky enough to part of a team that has launched a free, bi-monthly digital magazine which tries to deliver understandable science writing. It’s also about giving new or undiscovered writers a chance to write to a growing audience of readers. Why not check it out here! I think it’s rather cool…

REFERENCES:

John C. Besley and Matthew Nisbet (2011). How scientists view the public, the media and the political process Public Understanding of Science, 1-16 : 10.1177/0963662511418743

Thanukos, A., Scotchmoor, J., Caldwell, R., & Lindberg, D. (2010). Science 101: Building the Foundations for Real Understanding Science, 330 (6012), 1764-1765 DOI: 10.1126/science.1186994

Hinds, K., Carmichael, C. and Snowling, H. (2002) Public Attitudes to the Environment in Scotland 2002. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive.

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About Stuart Farrimond

I love writing about science and health subjects. Strange, because I also teach the same things. I trained as a medical doctor before turning my hand to other things. Shortlisted for The Guardian/Observer for Science Writer of the Year 2011 and editor for Guru Magazine I also like to grow large pumpkins...

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About Dr Stu

Hospital doctor turned lecturer and science communicator, I love trying to answer life's questions - whether it is how our body works or the best way to dunk a biscuit.... Read more...

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