Fake Banner
Swimming In The (astro) Pacific

As a newly minted, 1 year old professor, this is the deep end of the astronomy edu cation pool...

The Phantom Of The Laboratory

We are fortune here at Science20 to have come across an early work by Gaston Leroux.  This...

Engineering Roleplaying

Hey, you got simulation in my roleplay! Hey, you got roleplay in my simulation! Wait, it's two...

Stars That Ring Like Bells

Time to ring in a new year with pressure waves.  We can see, but not, hear true sonic waves...

User picture.
picture for Hank Campbellpicture for Patrick Lockerbypicture for Bente Lilja Byepicture for Mel. Whitepicture for Heidi Hendersonpicture for Patrick Adair
Alex "Sandy" AntunesRSS Feed of this column.

Read more about the strange modern world of a day laborer in astronomy, plus extra space science-y goodness.... Read More »

Looking back at over 2 years of writing, this column has covered a lot of ground.  Here's a topical index as proof.
Marc Kuchner built the Facebook group 'Marketing for Scientists' to help drag the usually reticent science population into this century's culture of social media and the rise of the individual.  Now out for pre-order is his book, "Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times", at Amazon:  http://amzn.to/kdK3Zf. The book's blurb:
I see a lot of talk on 'the future of science journalism'-- or science writing, or science funding, or science careers.  I'm guilty of contributing to it myself, but the 'future of' debates miss one point.  There isn't a single monolithic direction things are heading.  There isn't one solution.

In fact, there's not even 'one starting point' we're all moving from.
Did science in newspapers die?  By 2009, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal ended their Science sections, leaving just the New York Times as a major paper with a dedicated science section.  CNN cut their entire science and tech team.

Dana Topousis of the NSF discussed the role of the National Science Foundation in the new media landscape at a DCSWA workshop in 2009.  She noted that the NSF.gov's "Discoveries" gets the most traffic of the NSF site.  NSF sees its role as protecting scientist's free speech.  One venture they launched is Science360.gov, as a 1-stop shop for any science news.
NASA historically has received 0.5% to 1% of the federal budget, a penny or less per dollar.  I don't want to make that sound small-- I'd love a penny for every federal dollar-- but in terms of government programs, it's not the largest.

We all know the money goes to 'space stuff',  but since that includes everything from airplane work (the first 'A' in NASA is Aeronautics, after all) through Earth observing and providing satellites for NOAA, up to deep space cosmology stuff.  In the process, NASA invents and tests a heck of a lot of technology.
Press conferneces-- are they relevant anymore?  Long a staple of science news, the idea of a massive real-world press conference, with news embargoed until the big event, is a heavily criticized and yet equally heavily used tool of science-generating organizations.  Do they have any utility in a real-time internet and social media world?

Charles Blue (American Institute of Physics media relations) and Dwayne Brown (NASA HQ Public Affairs) weigh in (from the DCSWA conference).  First Blue:

It's like using a lathe-- it's a very specialized tool.