Science’s Women Ghostwriters

Read the full story at Inside Higher Ed.

James Watson and Francis Crick (not Rosalind Franklin) getting all the initial glory for unlocking the structure of DNA may be the most famous example of how women’s contributions to science get overlooked. It certainly isn’t the only instance, however: many women scientists report having their work go un- or undercredited, and some say they’ve left science altogether as a result.

While these anecdotes are powerful on their own, a new study pushes the conversation far beyond individual accounts: the paper, published in Nature, finds that women are significantly—and systematically—less likely to be recognized than their male peers.

Want to know whether that journal is scamming you? Introducing the Retraction Watch Hijacked Journal Checker

Read the full story at Retraction Watch.

Have you heard about hijacked journals?

Hijacked journals mimic legitimate journals by adopting their titles, ISSNs, and other metadata. Usually, hijacked journals mirror legitimate journals without permission from the original journal. In rare instances, publishers will buy rights to a legitimate journal but continue the publication under considerably less stringent publishing protocols and without clearly noting to the reader the change in ownership or publication standards (sometimes known as “cloned” journals).

Scholars can be duped into publishing in hijacked journals – many of which require fees – by offers of fast publication and indexing in databases such as Scopus; being indexed in such databases is viewed by many universities and governments as a mark of legitimacy. Even the WHO’s COVID literature database has been fooled.

We’re hoping to put an end to that sort of thing: Introducing the Retraction Watch Hijacked Journal Checker.

This educator designs curricula to make nature inclusive for all kids

Read the full story at Grist.

The key, says Makela Elvy, is to ‘really lean into that wonder,’ check biases, and stay away from assumptions.

Deny, Deceive, Delay: Documenting and Responding to Climate Disinformation at COP26 and Beyond

A new report released Thursday by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and the 20+ member coalition Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD) documents the extent and diverse nature of climate disinformation during last year’s international climate conference in Glasgow, COP26. The report, the most comprehensive of its type to date, offers seven key policy recommendations to stop disinformation from jeopardizing future climate action and policy-making.

Across social media, high-traction disinformation was found to originate primarily from a select number of pundits and political actors, who merge climate and “Culture Wars” narratives to violate multiple content moderation policies in tandem. Twitter carried the most false content by volume, while Facebook’s algorithm drove greater exposure to climate disinformation than its own Climate Science Center, and its fact-checking policies remain woefully under-enforced. 

Based on the narratives and tactics identified by CAAD’s bespoke monitoring system, the coalition recommends that policymakers formally recognize the threat, adopt a universal definition of climate disinformation and limit loopholes for traditional media outlets in tech regulation such as the EU’s Digital Services Act – all of which will help mitigate the risk that false or misleading content hinders climate negotiations and legislative agendas at this critical juncture.

Scientist finds professor who supported her love for bugs when she was 4

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Rebecca Varney met Vernard Lewis who let her hold a hissing cockroach, and told her she could get something called a PhD and spend her life researching insects.

Why scientists need better communication strategies

Read the full story at Silicon Republic.

Arlene Blum successfully helped to ban a harmful flame retardant from children’s pyjamas in the 1970s. However, lobbyists, PR strategies and misinformation campaigns mean scientists’ fight against chemicals of concern is ongoing.

When Americans think about science, what do they have in mind?

Read the full story from the Pew Research Center.

About two-thirds of U.S. adults (65%) say science has had a mostly positive effect on society, while 28% say it has had an equal mix of positive and negative effects and just 7% say it has had a mostly negative effect, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Over the past few years, around two-thirds or more of Americans have seen science’s effect on society as mostly positive.

Job announcement: Science Writer, University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering

Closing date: 06/06/2022
Full announcement and to apply

The Office of Marketing & Communications (OMC) at The Grainger College of Engineering seeks a Science Writer who is responsible for writing and editing high-level communications, publications, and materials with research-related subject matter. Designs, researches, and writes technical and research-related press releases, news and feature stories for print and web.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

A birder is back in the public eye, now on his own terms

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Christian Cooper’s encounter in Central Park with a white woman who called 911 to falsely accuse him of threatening her spurred a national outcry. Now he is hosting a birding series for National Geographic.

Trash or recycling? Why plastic keeps us guessing.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Did you know the ♻ symbol doesn’t mean something is actually recyclable? Play our trashy garbage-sorting game. Then, read on about how we got here, and what can be done.