Category: Communicating science

Climate denial newspaper flourishes on Facebook

Read the full story at ClimateWire.

One of the most-viewed sites on Facebook in the last few months is a subscription page for a conservative media outlet that publishes climate denial.

The Epoch Times, a far-right newspaper that echoes anti-vaccine messages and promoted former President Trump’s false election claims, received 44.2 million views between April and June for a page that offers to sign up subscribers, according to a report released by Facebook last week.

The technology to reach net zero carbon emissions isn’t ready for prime time, but …

Read the full story in Scientific American.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry recently stated that in order to reach net zero emission goals by 2045, we’ll “need technologies we don’t yet have.” Well, he’s half right. It’s true that battling climate change requires innovative, technologically driven ideas that can be tested, replicated and scaled, at warp speed. But inventing wholly new technology isn’t necessarily the answer, nor is the idea we can deploy today’s technology all the way to 100 percent clean energy.

That’s because the foundations for transformational new technologies already exist in research labs today. However, that technology needs facilities that support rapid testing and scaling. It needs a method that allows research and technology development to coexist without fear of failure; a proven process that can quickly and efficiently bring lab innovations to market.

Public perception of scientific results distorted by colorful graphics

Read the full story from the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg.

Colorful maps and figures with rainbow-colored gradients from scientific papers often serve as eye-catchers in journals and are readily shared in social media. Hydrologist Dr. Michael Stölzle from the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Freiburg and Dr. Lina Stein from the University of Bristol in England have investigated the frequency and properties of so-called “rainbow color maps.” In their study, the researchers note that using a rainbow color map in scientific visualizations distorts the data representation. In addition, people with color vision deficiencies cannot interpret such images correctly. Stölzle and Stein published their findings in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences.

New Wolfram U course explores data visualization

Read the full story from Wolfram.

After a few months of brainstorming ideas, developing notebooks and scripts and refining videos through several rounds of editing and refilming, we are pleased to announce that the Visual Explorations in Data Science massive open online course (MOOC) is now available.

The two guiding principles of this course are visualization and an example-driven approach. We employ a hands-on methodology for teaching data science with examples that slowly introduce various technical features, all of which are supplemented with an emphasis on visualization. The course consists of a dozen case studies spanning geography to engineering and analyzing flag similarity to periodic trends.

Climate change-themed mini golf course ‘putting green’ opens in Williamsburg

Read the full story at Untapped New York.

This summer, Two Trees Management will oversee Putting Green, a climate change-themed 18-hole mini golf course. Through Putting Green, Two Trees Management hopes to spark conversations with players of all ages on the importance of taking action against climate change and the pressing environmental issues affecting our world. As David Lombino, Managing Director with Two Trees stated, “We’re confident that Putting Green will help facilitate much-needed conversations about how to protect the environment and, even more specifically, the Williamsburg waterfront while still providing a beautiful open space for everyone.”

When an eel climbs a ramp to eat squid from a clamp, that’s a moray

Read the full story in the New York Times. Their science editor wins the very first Environmental News Bits award for Best Science Story Headline and Captions.

Moray eels can hunt on land and footage from a recent study highlights how they accomplish this feat with a sneaky second set of jaws.

See also the comments on this Twitter thread for moray puns.

Climate activism has a branding problem and this logo generator is here to help

Read the full story at It’s Nice That.

Austrian design studio Process has created the AI project Tokens for Climate Care, which creates original (and free-to-use) graphic symbols based on an organisation’s core mission.

Map data is shockingly easy to fake, from ‘Pokémon Go’ to satellite images

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Zhao and colleagues from Oregon State University and Binghamton University began to look into satellite imagery, a major source of geospatial data used in applications ranging from climate observation to global shipping. In a recent paper, they explore the potential—and, as they show, the very real threat—of people using artificial intelligence to create convincing but fabricated satellite imagery. Like AI systems that have been created to generate realistic faces or malicious pornographers who’ve used cruder systems to make fake explicit videos using the likenesses of celebrities, Zhao and his colleagues have shown that deepfake satellite imagery can also be made.

Unearthed: Why We Chose This Theme

Read the full story from Indiana Humanities.

Unearthed is a new three-year theme developed by Indiana Humanities that encourages Hoosiers to discover and discuss their relationships with the natural world. Through engaging speakers, a statewide read, a tour of the Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibit, Campfires treks, a film series, a podcast and more, Hoosiers will explore how we shape the environment and how the environment shapes us. 

How COVID changed schools outreach

Read the full story in Nature.

Since lockdowns closed classrooms and labs, scientists have devised online activities to inspire the next generation of researchers.

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