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The new project is online! Still a bit under construction, but then – that’s what it is all about in the first place: construction. Of big machines, mostly. And scientific ideas. Go on, take a look!

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Just before christmas we finally secured funding for a new project that has been in the making for a very long time. It’s called „Significant Details – Conversations with Women in Science“ and will be a series of video interviews with female scientists. About their career, their daily work, their experiences with science. Very simple, really, but already great fun, certainly for me at this point, because right now I am traveling the country meeting all these amazing people while trying to put together an as varied ensemble of female scientists as possible.

 

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Women are under-represented in science in most countries. Numbers are increasing, but slowly. Last year, a study by Lünenborg and Röser showed, that in Germany female scientists also go strongly under-reported in the media.

Representation in the media is important, though. Not only for the individual scientist, to increase her visibility and reputation, but, much more, for the rest of us, because it helps us, as a society, to adjust our perception of how science is done and who is doing it.

As Lünenborg and Röser point out: media representation is especially relevant with regard to leadership positions, in science and elsewhere, because most people have no or very little personal experience with these. So their opinion is formed mostly through the media. And one of the prevailing opinions about scientists is that they are male. Which somehow sticks in our heads, male and female alike, with all its undesired consequences.

 

The seed for this project was planted almost four years ago when I visited Science Online in North Carolina for the first time, a vibrant, dynamic and hugely original meeting of scientists, communicators, journalists, librarians, artists and many more, all related to science and the online world in one way or another.

At the time, I was still mostly working for television and had just begun to make my first careful steps into the world of online science communication. The newspaper crisis then was still in its early stages and the iPad little more than a rumour for most. Podcasts, however, had been around for a while and been used for science communication quite successfully. Microbes’s World Meet the Scientist with Carl Zimmer, Coast to Coast Bio Podcast (now closed), and Point of Inquiry are some of the earliest I remember. At Science Online they appeared as a given, a highly efficient tool in any science communicator’s box.

They were all audio, though, which I, as a filmmaker, always found a little sad. But I was immediately taken by their informal, direct and authentic way of talking to scientists and about science.

Back in Germany, it took me a while and some detours, and I am really glad that I now have an opportunity not only to add some video to the podcast world, but also to help increase the visibility of women in science.

All interviews will start from a specific object, a „significant detail“ from the women’s scientific life. They can be scientific objects or something completely off-topic that is related to science only by the women’s experience. From there, each conversation will take its individual course. No standardized questions, but a number of common themes, most likely. Fairly personal in tone, more portrait than presentation, more process than breakthroughs.

Finding the objects can be a bit tricky, but it seems worth the effort. So far, we have a bag of hazelnuts, a wisdom tooth, a musical clock playing „La Paloma“ and a vacuum coated Edelweiss. And a bag of good stories to go with them. You’ll see.

 

 

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MIT launches its own website and a Youtube channel for educational videos produced by its own students.

We wanted to help inspire young people to change the world through engineering and science, and realized that the 10,000 superstar students we have at MIT are uniquely positioned to do that.
(Ian A. Waitz)

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Beautiful micro-photography, smart editing. And a very impressive soundtrack by Radium Audio.

 

by Clemens Wirth

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Real physics!

As the International Space Station is boosted into a higher orbit, Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov float freely to demonstrate the acceleration of the orbiting complex.

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Wolfgang Blau, Chefredakteur von ZEIT ONLINE, über “Online partizipieren, online arbeiten – Demokratie und Staat, Wirtschaft und Arbeit in der digitalen Welt” (2011):

 

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This is really most delightful :)

Insbesondere die letzten 10 Minuten.

Schön, dass sich auch ein etabliertes Format wie Science Weekly immer wieder etwas Neues einfallen lässt.

Mehr Infos zu Film und Experimenten gibt es direkt bei der Royal Institution.

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John Cleese on lightbulbs, open and closed modes, Flemming and penicillin, play, 27 phonecalls and a quiet mind. And much more. Like not chickening out of your creative discomfort, because that would be too easy. Absolutely worth your time!

John Cleese on Creativity – YouTube.

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Für science- und science fiction-Freunde ist io9 praktisch ein Grundnahrungsmittel. Nun gibt es neben den täglichen Neuigkeiten aus “science, science fiction und der Zukunft” auch ein wöchentliches io9-Video-Magazin:

We’ve decided to come out of our safe little internet boxes and emerge into the world of digital video technology (…). Every week we’ll have 10-15 minutes of science, culture, and crazy futurism — plus, science experiments, interviews, and cheerful predictions of global doom!

Inklusive “stars are made of pickled vegetables”.

Wohlan!

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From NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio.

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