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Improving Nanoscience writing

HLovy writes with news of a project at the University of South Carolina's center for societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology to explore how the ability of science writers to write about nanotechnology can be improved: Nanoscience writers as lab rats HLovy writes

A project at the University of South Carolina's center for societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology (Thanks, Jack):

Science Journalism: Lowndes Stephens (J. Rion McKissick Professor of Journalism, USC) will pursue an experimental study of ways to improve science journalism, particularly that covering nanotechnology. The experiment will be conducted during summer 2004 on a group of experienced science writers who will have a weeklong training course in Newsplex, a $2 million state-of-the-art multi-media, micro newsroom laboratory at the University of South Carolina. Using information from other team members and from members of USC?s NanoCenter, the subjects will be asked to research, source and write news stories on several significant advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The subjects and their stories will be examined both before and after their experience in Newsplex, as a way to determine the degree to which this experience improves their ability to write about nanotechnology.

I met a couple of the USC nanopeople last autumn, and they told me about this database of nanoscience abstracts that they're building. Sounds like a worthwhile project. While you're on the USC site, browse around a bit and find nano-enlightenment via pdf.

The science of the study of the popular perception of the study of nanotechnology has truly arrived.

More on Howard Lovy's NanoBot.

4 Responses to “Improving Nanoscience writing”

  1. Mr_Farlops Says:

    Lovy needs a better personal CMS

    This is slightly off topic but, as a frequent and grateful reader of Lovy, I'm annoyed with the commenting system he has for entries on his site. You can't see the entry you're commenting on, all the threads get mixed together so it's hard to stick with a coherent line of discussion.

    Howard? If you are out there and you read this, please consider migrating Nanobot to Typepad, MT, textpattern or one of many other CMS tools. They have better commenting systems and at least the commercial one will integrate with your text ads and such.

    I look forward to more of your commentary though, even if I can't comment on it myself!

  2. rumplestiltskin Says:

    Software that addresses your issue

    At you can find the software to run a content management portal. A collaborative website in a box. Very nice. Just what you ordered, suh.

    The zipfile fits on a floppy and needs mysql and php.

    Its up to version 5 something, and it is growing in popularity very quickly. It works.

    Maybe we should start one of our own and see if we can permission to mirror nanodot articles, as well as vast quantities of easily managed other stuff.

    Archiving is less of a pain in the neck, and you don't get the "karma stovepipe" effect that slash sites seem to suffer from. More flexible.

    Would anyone like to buy my old copy of "Running Weblogs with Slash" by Aker and Krrieger? Cheap? is having site trouble as of right now, but give it a shot!

  3. HLovy Says:

    Re:Lovy needs a better personal CMS

    Hey, 'lops,

    I couldn't agree more, Mr. Far. But I've already built the whole thing on Blogspot, and it would be a pain in my nano tuchus to switch to another format.

    If I didn't have a day job, I could probably take the time to move the whole blog and comments sections into a more useer- and reader-friendly service, but at this point it would be too big a project for a busy boy like me.

    I have been courted by other blog groups to come and join them, but I'm reluctant to give up control and freedom to fit somebody else's format.

    I'm open to suggestions, though, as to how I can transform this from just a blog to more of a full-service, participatory news site. I'd like to redesign the thing, incorporate product, book, film and game reviews. Get some guest bloggers, etc. But for that, I'd need some help.

    It's obvious that there is a need for a site like NanoBot, and as the general public becomes more interested, I'd like to have something better for journalists, kids, students, teachers, tech junkies and even business decision makers and government policy makers to use as a resource for information, entertainment, discussion or dartboard target.

    OK. But enough about me. Let's get back to nano …

    Howard Lovy

  4. Mr_Farlops Says:

    Re:Lovy needs a better personal CMS

    Well maybe you don't have to change your location or radically change your blogging tool. Just way comments are handled needs to be changed. Maybe you can just change the service you use to do comments with to another service. Aren't there other commenting tools that are compatible with Blogspot? I think you'd find more people to comment on your site if the commenting was easier to follow and add to.

    But you're a busy person, I empathize. It was just a suggestion is all. You can file it in your optional TODO list in your abundant spare time.

    Keep the news stories coming though! Without you, things here on nanodot would be a lot slower I think!

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