A new resource from my friend Laura, who does the excellent Environmental News Bits. From the University of Illinois Library: Communicating Science: Home. “A beginner’s guide for Prairie Research Institute researchers to learn how to effectively communicate their science.” Some of the materials are specific to the university, but most of it is open. Good stuff and lots of it.
ScienceDaily: Brain computer interface turns mental handwriting into text on screen. “For the first time, researchers have deciphered the brain activity associated with trying to write letters by hand. Working with a participant with paralysis who has sensors implanted in his brain, the team used an algorithm to identify letters as he attempted to write them. Then, the system displayed the text on a screen — in real time.”
KING5: Former Amazon engineer creates app that reportedly translates your cat’s meows. “A former Amazon engineer who worked on Alexa has unveiled his latest pet project: an app that translates your cat’s meow. Javier Sanchez is now a project manager with Bellevue-based tech company Akvelon and has developed MeowTalk — an app that reportedly translates what your cat is vocalizing.” I dreamed several years ago that I got a potion from a wizard that let me understand what my cat was saying. After I drank it, my cat followed me around for the rest of the dream asking if I had Prince Albert in a can.
Chemical & Engineering News: We’re all science communicators. Here’s how to do it better. “Our situation comes with innumerable challenges. However, it also provides an opportunity for scientists to make a powerful contribution to society and demonstrate the value of science education. Whether or not you are engaging in research directly related to COVID-19, you can help those around you separate facts from myths, interpret the data that are available, and make better-informed decisions.”
ZDNet: AI can now read the thoughts of paralysed patients as they imagine they are writing. “Handwriting is becoming a rare skill in the digital age. But researchers have now discovered a new application that could significantly improve the way tetraplegic people, who are often also unable to speak, communicate with the outside world.”
Phys .org: Research explores ways to bridge gaps in science communication. “‘Give me a break!’ ‘Fake News!’ ‘Blah Blah Blah…’ These retorts are symptoms of a fundamental problem in science communication—new research from the Tepper School of Business shows that when we hear something that doesn’t make sense to us, it’s much easier to respond with derision than to work to understand what is being said. It’s difficult to bridge these gaps in understanding because they are driven by fundamental differences in values, perspectives, and knowledge bases. It means that debates escalate into arguments unless people work to build trust, respect, and common ground.”