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'Frankenstein researchers create bunny monster': an insider explains pop science

An inside look at how science makes the news, and how the journalists who write it attempt to avoid nervous breakdowns.

Some popular science articles make scientists really mad and the headlines can make them even madder. But where did those headlines come from? What is the process by which research in a scientific laboratory ends up being argued about by millions of people worldwide?

There is an exciting and complicated world on the other side of those headlines. Journalists have to compete for space and hit tight deadlines. Publishers demand ever-larger sales figures and bigger advertising revenues. New sources of information on the web provide fast and furious competition. The public is demanding: they want their own concerns answered and do not automatically respect authority. Then there are the scientists themselves. Most are decent folk but there are some with monumental egos who hype their work, heretics who occasionally turn out to be right, and a sprinkling of crooks and liars.

As a researcher, writer, editor and publisher, Alun Anderson has seen all sides of the science communication world. He will tell you stories from inside the business and try to gain a little sympathy for the editors who are attempting to manage everything honestly and profitably while avoiding a nervous breakdown.


Dr Alun Anderson | talks


Date and Time:

24 March 2006 at 8:00 pm


1 hour



Gower Street

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Organised by:

The Royal Institution of Great Britain
See other talks organised by The Royal Institution of Great Britain...



£12 (Free for Ri Members)

Available from:

The Ri Events Team on 020 7409 2992 or www.rigb.org

Additional Information:

In association with UCL.

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