Tag Archives: Science: So What?

Science: So What? Bad nutrition on garlic and cancer

We blogged last week about bad nutrition from Science: So What? So Everything – a science communication initiative ran by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. I was disappointed to find more on their website: this time, a poor discussion of the evidence re garlic and cancer. Science: So What state that

recent studies have shown that our love of garlic may also be good for our health.

A study published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis in 2008 showed that garlic-derived substances had an effect on colon cancer cells. Continue reading

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Bad nutrition from Science: So What?

I was disappointed to some new, rather bad nutrition content on the UK Government’s Science: So What? So Everything website: there is some unfortunate discussion of turmeric, ginger and cancer. Continue reading


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Science So What? So disappointing

We have previously blogged about some of the problems with the government’s Science So What? So Everything campaign, and were pleased to see plans to revise the campaign in response to some of the criticisms. The site has now relaunched and – while it looks rather slicker and functions better in many ways – a number of aspects of the site remain disappointing. Lord Drayson has asked for feedback on the site, and 2020 Science have raised some interesting questions. This therefore seems a good time to look at the new site.

I have a number of concerns about the site: including accessibility, some poor quality content, and poor use of social media.  I will discuss some specific issues here, to illustrate some of the broader problems with the site Continue reading


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Science So What roundtable – join in the discussion

We have previously criticised the Science: So What? So Everything campaign. We would like to see them do better at science communication, so we were pleased to get an e-mail from Frank Swain (who is behind the excellent Science Punk and has been involved in Science: So What? since late July) inviting participation in a roundtable on the campaign:

the Science So What forum is now up and running, and I’d be happy to have your input on developments…I think most everyone is aware of what I’m pushing towards in this role, but here’s the brief:

Science: So What? is a Department of Business Innovation and Skills campaign to encourage wider public engagement in science at all levels – from casual interest to education and employment opportunities – as well as promoting greater understanding of why science is so important to the UK. Continue reading

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Science: So What Is Recruiting a Dialogue Manager

From the Science: So What Campaign. Initially part-time (with hours to be agreed), this is a job opportunity for someone with experience of science writing and a strong interest in social media and science communication. Continue reading


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Science So What? So Everything: web stats

Following some discussion of the Science So What? campaign, they have helpfully e-mailed us their web stats – in response to a question that we raised. The stats for the campaign from its 27th January start through to 20th May are therefore reproduced below: Continue reading


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Science So What? So Everything: FOIA response

We are pleased to say that we have now received a detailed response from the Public Communications Unit to our Freedom of Information Act Request about Science So What? So Everything. The full response is below, in blockquotes; text in italics is our original questions. We have inserted some comments. there is a lot of detail here, though – we will return to this in future, but wanted to get this online ASAP.

What budget has been made available for the campaign, and how much has been spent?

So far, £600K has been spent on the campaign. Continue reading


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Science So What? So Everything. Freedom of Information request and blog comment

We have previously posted some criticisms of aspects of the Science So What? So Everything? campaign. Elliot from the campaign has now responded to our guest post on Science: So What and science communication. We are grateful to him for getting back to us. However, we do have a number of concerns about his comment. Continue reading


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Science: So What? campaign modifies claims about childhood nutrition

We’ve previously pointed out that the Science: So What? campaign overplayed the evidence on childhood nutrition. They claimed that

long-running research involving hundreds of children has now decisively proven, for the first time, the direct link between infant diet and later obesity. It’s a fact: babies who eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable have a significantly reduced risk of obesity in later life.

While we are all in favour of eating plenty of fruit and veg, we aren’t aware of research decisively proves this type of link. We were therefore pleased to see that Science: So What? have modified their claims. They now state that:

Research, looking at the diet of hundreds of children, suggests a strong link between infant diet and later obesity and eating habits in later life

This is a definite improvement, though it is still a shame that they do not link the articles they are referring to. Continue reading


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