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Feb 16, 2012

History, One Post at a Time

Your blog may be cool, but it isn't new. Find out more and hear a Harvard expert during free History Weekend events. 

Feb 6, 2012

Historical Blogging

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Lauren Williams, a communication intern in NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Think our ancestors didn’t blog? Think again. Although the term blogging and our electronic way of doing it are relatively new, the idea of disseminating information via informal writing is certainly not. As part… 

Jan 13, 2012

The Big (Moving) Picture

Why do some science stories fire the public’s imagination, while others go unnoticed? We welcome your input on this question because, frankly, we are often surprised when one piece of research takes off and another goes nowhere. However, we have seen one common thread among some of our biggest science stories: video. With that in… 

Dec 14, 2011

Helping Museums Pursue Interactive Technology

In an attempt to better engage and educate the public about everything from space exploration to art history, museums are becoming increasingly interactive. But many museums lack the resources or expertise to take full advantage of emerging technologies. What to do? Researchers from NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences are working to… 

Nov 4, 2011

Want To Study New Kinds Of Wireless Systems? Build Your Own

The idea of wireless mesh networks, which expand the reach of traditional Wi-Fi, is not new. But a lot of fundamental questions still need to be addressed (think design and security). To address those questions, one team of computer science researchers has decided to build their own mesh network – and to share that system… 

Mar 16, 2011

Going Nuclear: Putting Some Media Coverage Into Perspective

Note: This is a guest piece written by Steve Skutnik, a Ph.D. candidate in nuclear engineering at NC State. Among other things, Skutnik is a regular contributor to the nuclear engineering blog The Neutron Economy, where a version of this post originally ran. In times of crisis, mainstream media can make mistakes – particularly when the… 

Mar 2, 2011

Food Safety: The Disconnect Between What’s Yucky And What’s Dangerous

Note: This is a guest piece written by Dr. Ben Chapman, an assistant professor and food safety expert at NC State. Among other things, Chapman is a regular contributor to the food safety blog Barfblog, where a version of this post originally ran. While it might be nice to know whether there has been an insect… 

Feb 18, 2011

Let’s Talk About ScienceOnline2012

The Abstract crew is pretty excited that NC State is going to host the ScienceOnline2012 (Scio12) conference next January. If you’re not familiar with ScienceOnline, it’s a gathering of researchers, bloggers, reporters, authors and students (I can think of some people who are all of the above) who are passionate about science. And they’re not just… 

Jan 14, 2011

Loaded Question: A Problem With Public Opinion Polls On Science

When it comes to science and technology, it appears that people don’t actually dislike the things they say they dislike. At the very least, a new study shows, people don’t dislike those things as much as they think they do. The fault, dear reader, lies not in ourselves, but in our polls. The study, published… 

Nov 29, 2010

Food Fables: Learning Food Safety From Unhappy Endings

Stories have long been used to teach people about the consequences of their actions – just ask Aesop. A new study finds that storytelling is also a critical component when it comes to teaching kitchen workers the importance of food-safety practices – and hopefully saving lives. But the researchers behind this study are telling stories… 

Nov 10, 2010

Sci/Med Writers: Are We Part Of The Problem?

Research is an incremental process, and there are precious few “Eureka!” moments when an idea springs forth fully formed, unfettered by qualifiers and questions that muddy the waters. As a result, those of us who write about science and medicine often take pains to ensure that we do not overstate research results. We use our… 

Nov 9, 2010

Discussing Sci/Tech Risks Hurts Consensus Efforts

Thomas Jefferson once wrote to John Adams that, “Truth between candid minds can never do harm.” But times have changed, and new research shows that discussion of the risks and benefits associated with emerging science and technology actually hurts efforts to build consensus on those issues. A paper published this month by Risk Analysis finds… 

Sep 28, 2010

Research: Welcome To The Real World

A new study shows that social-science research done by “ivory tower” academics does have utility in the real world, specifically in the business community. And, even more specifically, it could help catch the next corporate fraud. The accounting firms tasked with auditing corporations and identifying fraud are required to have brainstorming sessions as part of… 

Sep 15, 2010

Science Communication Breakdown (I Got Something I Think You Oughtta Know)

I used to work as a cook. And, as “Top Chef” aficionados know, teamwork is essential to cooking a good meal and getting it out on time. You can imagine how much more important teamwork is in today’s world of multi-institution, interdisciplinary research initiatives targeting complex scientific questions. Luckily, a new field of study is… 

Sep 9, 2010

Video Visionaries

Armed with the latest gear and a passion for storytelling, students in the advanced digital video class get the hands-on experience they need to land internships and jobs.