Science tells us a lot about the universe. But it also tells us a lot about people – what interests us, what we think is worth studying, what we want to know. The universe has quite a lot of facts in it, science is our chosen way of organising them, and the choices made along the way are fascinating. And amidst the technological and medical advances, science can affect how we live our day-to-day lives in subtle and surprising ways; in turn, the actions and reactions of non-scientists profoundly affect how science is carried out, and tell us a lot about climates of popular opinion. So when a new discovery is reported in the media, or a new research project gets underway, there is more to discuss than simply the facts. Sideways Look At Science takes a peek at the human side of science, through a ragtag bunch of topical, historical, and just plain interesting examples.
The author is currently studying science-media interactions – in particular, the ideas of ‘science enthusiasm’ and the apparent ‘geek movement’ in online social media – at the department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London. Was previously at the department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, where he studied history and sociology of science and science communication, particularly the work of Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman. Also writes for page and stage, performs comedy, and indulges in thesping (occasionally even science-related – see Some Links).
Follow on Twitter: @SidewaysScience.
Departmental page: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/students/marsh