Lifestyle

Don't run for President, Mr Gore
October 18, 2007 12:36 PM - , SciDevNet

Last week's award of the Nobel peace prize signals the coming of age of the public communication of science.

There have been few more significant endorsements of the importance of science communication in bridging the gap between research and policy than the announcement last week that the 2007 Nobel Prize for peace is to be shared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former US vice-president Al Gore.

Why I care about pregnancy and fish
October 18, 2007 12:22 PM - Brian Halweil, Worldwatch Institute

I took particular interest in the recent U.S. scandal involving a seafood industry front group recommending that pregnant women eat more fish, despite existing concerns about high mercury levels in some species. Why? First, because I’ve been writing about seafood for Worldwatch for many years. Second, because my wife is just a few short weeks from giving birth to our first child.

La Nina onset expected in November
October 18, 2007 10:59 AM - Reuters

The National Weather Service on Thursday predicted the arrival of the weather anomaly La Nina in November, after conditions strengthened in recent months.

British report calls for national marine agency
October 17, 2007 07:30 PM - Jeremy Lovell, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A British parliamentary committee called on Thursday for creation of a national marine science agency to take responsibility for all aspects of the use and conservation of the seas in the light of global warming.

The report, Investigating the Oceans, from the all-party Science and Technology Committee said the new overarching agency should supersede the current inter-agency coordinating committee and greatly broaden its scope.

"The UK has the capacity to be a world leader in key aspects of marine science, such as coastal work which is vitally important because of climate change," said committee chairman Phil Willis.

Experimental malaria vaccine works in babies
October 17, 2007 01:14 PM - Ben Hirschler

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests that Chinese herbs might be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.

Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal.

"All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), OCPs (oral contraceptive pill), acupuncture and heat compression," said lead author Xiaoshu Zhu from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney.

Few Americans see quick housing market rebound
October 17, 2007 12:54 PM - Emily Kaiser, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two out of three Americans expect home prices to stay the same or drop in the next year, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday that suggests the battered housing market has further to fall.

However, the economic mood was somewhat more upbeat than it had been a month earlier, possibly reflecting recent record highs on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve's decision on September 18 to lower its benchmark interest rate.

Thirty-one percent of those polled in the monthly survey expect a U.S. recession in the next year, a tad less pessimistic than the prior month's reading of 33 percent.

Do food miles make a difference to global warming?
October 17, 2007 09:41 AM - Deborah Zabarenko -Reuters

The U.S. local food movement -- which used to be elite, expensive and mostly coastal -- has gone mainstream, with a boost from environmentalists who reckon that eating what grows nearby cuts down on global warming.

But do food miles -- the distance edibles travel from farm to plate -- give an accurate gauge of environmental impact, especially where greenhouse gas emissions are concerned?

No evidence that insoles prevent general back pain
October 17, 2007 09:36 AM - John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

There is strong evidence that using insoles does not prevent people from getting non-specific back pain, and there is insufficient evidence to say whether or not they help solve existing low-back pain, a Cochrane Systematic Review has found.

Bush hosts Dalai Lama amid Chinese outrage
October 16, 2007 07:07 PM - Matt Spetalnick and Paul Eckert, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush hosted the Dalai Lama on Tuesday despite China's warning that U.S. plans to honor the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader could damage relations between Beijing and Washington.

The White House talks were held on the eve of a congressional award ceremony for the Dalai Lama, but the Bush administration took pains to keep the encounter with the president low-key in a bid to placate China.

New Book: Communication System At Tipping Point
October 16, 2007 06:22 PM -

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Our communication system is rapidly transforming before our eyes. But we don’t have to just watch, University of Illinois professor Bob McChesney says in a new book. In fact, we shouldn’t.

“Media policy is becoming everybody’s business,” and its direction is at a “critical juncture” – possibly short-lived – when significant change is possible, according to McChesney, a professor of speech communication, media historian, and media reform activist.

In “Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media,” being published this month by The New Press, McChesney argues from his study of history that such junctures in communication are few and far between. Most of our major media institutions are the result of such times, when policies could have – and often should have, he believes – gone in different directions.

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