This week at Real Scientists, Chad Jones of @TheCollapsedPsi podcast fame tackle some big questions in science and science communication head-on. One of the biggest issues in science communication is combating popular perceptions of scientific terms, for example: Is everything a chemical?
Chad coordinated a huge discussion about this (will be available in the Storify shortly) and even put together a Youtube video for a longer explanation:
It’s one of the bugbears of scientists: pointing out that “everything is a chemical” technically speaking, rather than substances communal perceived to be toxic chemicals,, but as Chad points out, it’s not always true to make that generalisation. It’s of the challenges of science communication.
Chad also took us round his lab and allowed us to virtually play with his lab toys, like this 4.7 T magnet:
You can never have too many magnets on Real Scientists. So please thank Chad for his huge week tweeting for us with such clarity and verve, especially while unwell, and for sharing your work and music with us. You can follow Chad’s continuing adventures on twitter at @TheCollapsedPsi and his podcast and blog.
This week also saw the revelation of what the Insect Isengard/Insect Stonenhenge structures discovered by graduate student Troy Alexander were all about, as promised by last week’s Real Scientists curators, Phil Torres and Lary Reeves.
The structure is a carefully guarded egg sac by an as yet unidentified spider. The hatchling finally emerged just before Phil and Lary left Tambopata, as the entire structure collapsed to reveal a tiny spider. It’s an amazing structure, but still more amazing given the amount of effort that’s required to make this structure, as spiders don’t usually put this much effort in to take care of single babies, but, rather, produce many to increase chances of a few surviving. You can read all about the exciting discovery at Wired and io9.