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Khalil’s Picks (15 November 2013)

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Another really awesome week with everything from some some meta-science journalism stories to the wonders of rocks ants, crocodiles, dead satellites and Carl Sagan.

Yep.

Remixing Science by Paige Brown

In his book Remix, Lawrence Lessig documents two different cultures in today’s media landscape: A Read-Only (RO) culture that has historically been the business model of the publishing, broadcast, film and music industries, and a Read/Write (RW) culture that has been empowered by digital technologies. A read only culture consumes, providing big profits for large broadcast and publishing industries – think Hollywood, iTunes music and other strictly copyrighted art.

Of skiing and seeing: Remembering Tom Troscianko by Pete Etchells

Some people have a unique ability to find adventure in everything, even the ordinary. Professor Tom Troscianko was one of those people, and it was a quality that left a lasting impression on students and colleagues alike.

How is Past Experience Biasing Our Decision-Making? Insights from Rock Ants by Felicity Muth

Think about all the decisions you’ve made today. Even if you’re reading this in the morning, you’ve probably already made hundreds or even thousands of decisions, without even thinking consciously about most of them. We like to think of ourselves as being in control of our own decisions, and making rational, well-informed choices. However, more and more research is showing that this just isn’t the case, as has been popularised in books like Predictably Irrational and Thinking fast and slow.

Are crocodiles secret fruit-lovers? by Jon Tennant

Seed dispersal by animals is important for plants to help them occupy new areas of land. Usually bugs, birds, or intrepid kittens do that job. Now we can add crocodiles to that list. A new study reviewed the diets of crocodiles and showed that 13 of 18 species ate fruit of some sort and a wide variety of plants.

Some Dead Satellites Refuse to Go Quietly to Their Graves by Kyle Hill

High above us, tens of thousands of kilometers above our heads, there are orbiting graveyards. They are filled with satellites that have burned through their functional lives, now “buried” in space. The graveyards are filled for a reason: A dead satellite is a dangerous one.

Why We Should Keep Talking About Carl Sagan by Travis Park

This may be a blog about palaeontology but in this particular post I want to talk about science communication. More specifically, I want to reply to a blog article posted on Wednesday by Erin Podolak (@ErinPodolak) entitled “Can we stop talking about Carl Sagan?”. I am not attempting to disagree completely with everything in Erin’s post, as I hope to articulate below, but I believe strongly that there is no valid reason to stop talking about Sagan, rather, we should be talking about and celebrating his efforts to communicate science to the general public.

Don’t stop there, here’s more:

Khalil A. Cassimally About the Author: Khalil A. Cassimally is the Community Coordinator of The Conversation UK. He's also a science blogger. He hails from a tropical island and is a happy geek. Subscribe to his updates on Facebook and Google+. Follow on Twitter @notscientific.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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