[ASC-list] ASC-list Digest, Vol 73, Issue 21

Marina Hurley info at writingclearscience.com.au
Wed Dec 15 08:56:03 UTC 2010


Strictly speaking something is not considered science until a study has been
both peer-reviewed and published. In broad terms there are three levels of
verification in the process of producing science - Firstly - the test itself
that either supports or discounts a hypothesis, question or statement. The
results are validated by the fact that an appropriate test has been chosen
and correctly carried out. In addition validation comes from the scientist's
arguments and assessments of their results and comparison with the results
of other scientists (other studies in the literature); Secondly - the
process of peer-review which is not perfect but still a rigorous process and
thirdly the publication of the study (the research paper) that allows
scrutiny by the scientific community.



Many papers get through the second stage that perhaps shouldn't, but the
discussion and disagreement that arises in this third phase of scrutiny is -
as Niall says - is a necessary and important part of science. Still Rosie
Redfield's criticism
http://rrresearch.blogspot.com/2010/12/arsenic-associated-bacteria-nasas.html
 is stinging as she clearly states that this paper should not have been
published and hints at monetary bias by the editors. "*I don't know whether
the authors are just bad scientists or whether they're unscrupulously
pushing NASA's 'There's life in outer space!' agenda.  I hesitate to blame
the reviewers, as their objections are likely to have been overruled by
Science's editors in their eagerness to score such a high-impact publication
*." Considering that this paper was challenging fundamental knowledge of the
building blocks of life the authors should have expected this degree of
scrutiny and had absolute water-tight methods and results.



The process of dealing with any papers that are shown to be faulty or flawed
- as I understand it - is that, after significant notification and
awareness, the paper is formally retracted by the editors. The blogging of
science research will only help the process of scientific discussion and
debate but ultimately any serious criticism of the research must also be
peer-reviewed and published (as Wolfe-Simon, the author of the bacterium
paper,  herself has said).  But many scientists don’t have the time to
participate in the third phase of scrutiny, leaving the question - how many
poor (and less controversial) papers have been published, left
un-scrutinised and considered science?


The public can increasingly become privy to this debate thanks to the
internet, the online postings and blogs. However the fact that
non-scientists or scientists without institutional support still have to pay
$30m per paper means that it is not possible for everyone to engage in the
process to their own satisfaction.

cheers

Marina



On 15 December 2010 14:51, <asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au> wrote:

> Send ASC-list mailing list submissions to
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>
> Today's Topics:
>
>   1. Re: ASC-list Digest, Vol 73, Issue 20 (Susan Kirk)
>   2. Re: ASC-list Digest, Vol 73, Issue 20 (Susan Kirk)
>   3. Re: Bacteria spits out arsenic and scavenges P (Magdeline Lum)
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Susan Kirk <skirk at iprimus.com.au>
> To: <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2010 07:26:30 +1000
> Subject: Re: [ASC-list] ASC-list Digest, Vol 73, Issue 20
> Maybe I don't understand the process of publication in a science journal.
> This is my (albeit simplified) understanding.  An experiment is conducted
> within certain parameters or controls and the results are then deciphered.
> The results of the experiment must be able to be replicated with the same
> result.  I thought this experiment was then 'peer reviewed' meaning other
> scientists would test it out.  At this point any shortcomings in any of the
> basic science ie control measures use of equipment etc etc would come to
> the
> fore. If there were shortcomings then the reviewers would say to the
> authors
> go back and do it again.  I imagined that once a paper was published it had
> gained a fair amount of credibility but now it appears that the research
> goes into additional peer review.  How long does this go on for?  At any
> stage is the research discredited/disregarded or accepted as truth? If we
> dont discover the uncertainties which, in this case were sent around the
> blogosphere, how else we will discover them.  Are we the public privy to
> the
> objections?  I can't see where.
>
> Niall is correct.  NASA overcommitted itself with sensational spin that in
> turn seduced the journalists.  The result, the findings became the truth,
> instead of research, none of which contributes to the public understanding
> of science.
>
> I understand that there is a growing consensus that there are issues with
> the veracity of this research as Helen has pointed out.
>
> S
>
>
>
> On 14/12/10 9:00 PM, "asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au"
> <asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au> wrote:
>
> > Send ASC-list mailing list submissions to
> > asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> >
> > To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> > http://lists.asc.asn.au/mailman/listinfo/asc-list
> > or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> > asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au
> >
> > You can reach the person managing the list at
> > asc-list-owner at lists.asc.asn.au
> >
> > When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> > than "Re: Contents of ASC-list digest..."
> >
> >
> > Today's Topics:
> >
> >    1. Re: [ExternalEmail] Re: Bacteria spits out arsenic and
> >       scavenges P (Matthew.Levinson at csiro.au)
> >    2. Thinking Critically About Sustainable Energy (Stephan Kern)
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:17:21 +1100
> > From: <Matthew.Levinson at csiro.au>
> > To: <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > Subject: Re: [ASC-list] [ExternalEmail] Re: Bacteria spits out arsenic
> > and scavenges P
> > Message-ID:
> > <B039DE0B62CBDE46AB819FC14FA7A72D019121309B at EXNSW-MBX04.nexus.csiro.au>
> >
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="Windows-1252"
> >
> > Do critics of the blogosphere's reaction realise how much of the best
> science
> > writing is happening on blogs? These aren't (all) undergrads or hobbyists
> -
> > when they talk about "bloggers", they're talking about top flight science
> > writers and scientists writing for the online arms of Discover, Wired,
> Seed,
> > etc.
> >
> > And the reverse chronology blog feed is a style of writing that's just
> really
> > well suited to science. Instead of the story beginning and ending with
> the
> > latest embargoed paper, it's ongoing, updated as new facts come to light
> - in
> > many cases with writers that are following the journals (often in their
> own
> > discipline).
> >
> > And in this case, they picked up issues with the paper that virtually all
> the
> > mainstream media went for. Did having Science and NASA on the stand draw
> > everyone's guards down? Ed Yong was involved right though, and his
> post-mortem
> > really captures it. It seems like NASA messed up the PR, then got a hint
> of
> > what a lot of politicians and businesses have seen in the past year or
> two
> > when the social media world senses it's being taken for a ride.
> >
> > Really interesting case study for anyone interested in the shifting media
> > balance and science communication, that's for sure.
> >
> > Matt
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au [
> asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On
> > Behalf Of Helen Sim [Helen.Sim at csiro.au]
> > Sent: Monday, 13 December 2010 1:39 PM
> > To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> > Subject: [ExternalEmail] Re: [ASC-list] Bacteria spits out arsenic and
> > scavenges P
> >
> > I don't think there's any doubt about the voracity of the findings, but
> their
> > veracity is a different matter.
> >
> > - H
> >
> > On 13/12/10 12:22 PM, Niall Byrne wrote:
> >
> > A good topic.
> >
> > I don?t think this is a debacle ? it?s just science ? with the
> blogosphere
> > over-reacting partly because of a clumsy media alert from NASA that
> > overpromised.
> >
> > I liked this comment from the blog you cited.
> >
> > ?If question remains about the voracity of these authors findings, then
> the
> > only thing that is going to answer that doubt is data.  Data cannot be
> > generated by blog discussion? Talking about digging a ditch never got it
> dug.?
> >
> > Science is messy, peer review is messy and sometimes it?s good for us to
> be
> > exposed to that.
> >
> >
> >
> > Niall
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________
> >
> > Niall Byrne
> >
> > Science in Public has moved to:
> >
> > 82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood  Vic  3015
> > Our postal address is PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015
> > Our landline stays the same - 03 9398 1416.
> >
> > Niall?s mobile: 0417 131 977
> > Sarah?s mobile: 0413 332 489
> >
> > niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
> > Twitter scienceinpublic
> > Full contact details at
> > www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog>
> >
> > From:
> > asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:
> asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Susan Kirk
> > Sent: Saturday, 11 December 2010 1:49 AM
> > To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > Subject: [ASC-list] Bacteria spits out arsenic and scavenges P
> >
> > OK well all is good.  Jessie Shore assures me this is the place to
> > communicate.  So lets get started.
> >
> > There has been much said this week about the arsenic eating bacteria that
> > apparently means we are inhabiting the earth with extra-terrestrials.
>  There?s
> > a whole # devoted to it over at twitter.  My question to the whole
> debacle
> > was, ?If the controls were flawed WHY was the experiment published??
> >
> > Here?s a pretty good timeline of the event
> >
> http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/12/10/arsenic-bacteria
> > -a-post-mortem-a-review-and-some-navel-gazing/
> >
> > S
> >
> > Susan Kirk  Bcomm
> > Journalist
> > MEAA  ASC HMAQ QWC
> > [cid:part1.06020309.09030703 at csiro.au]
> > 39 Shamley Heath Rd,
> > KUREELPA   Q  4560
> > P: +61 7 5478 6761
> > M:+ 61 0414 645 953
> > skirk at lingo.net.au<mailto:skirk at lingo.net.au>
> > www.lingo.net.au<http://www.lingo.net.au>
> > www.lingo.net.au/blog<http://www.lingo.net.au/blog>
> > www.lingo.net.au/discuss<http://www.lingo.net.au/discuss>
> >
> > CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This message may contain privileged and
> confidential
> > information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If
> you are
> > not the intended recipient of this message, any disclosure, copying,
> > distribution or any action taken in reliance on it is prohibited and
> unlawful.
> > ________________________________
> > No virus found in this message.
> > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com<http://www.avg.com>
> > Version: 10.0.1170 / Virus Database: 426/3306 - Release Date: 12/09/10
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > ------
> > Helen Sim
> > Media Liaison and Public Relations
> >
> > CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
> > and
> > Australian Astronomical Observatory
> >
> > T: +61 2 9372 4251
> > M: +61 419 635 905
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:20:23 +1030
> > From: Stephan Kern <SKern at riaus.org.au>
> > To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > Subject: [ASC-list] Thinking Critically About Sustainable Energy
> > Message-ID:
> > <17094CB8564A9040B2D54019D7EDD0941A89D24BDC at RIA-EXCH01.riaus.internal>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >
> > Hello Everyone,
> >
> > After six months, the Thinking Critically about Energy series is finally
> > complete-  and you can now view the entire TCASE series at the new  RiAus
> On
> > Demand Site
> >
> http://riausondemand.org.au/feature_series/thinking-critically-about-sustainab
> > le-energy/
> >
> > A big thanks to all our speakers for helping produce such an interesting
> and
> > informative series.
> >
> >
> > [cid:image001.jpg at 01CB7689.E60A6870]
> >  Steve Kern
> >  Senior Programs Co-ordinator
> >
> >  Ri Australia
> >  PO Box 3652
> >  RUNDLE MALL  SA  5000
> >  Ph: (08) 7120 8604 | Fax: (08) 8221 6563 |
> > skern at riaus.org.au|<mailto:atyndall at riaustralia.org.au|>
> > www.riaus.org.au<http://www.riaustralia.org.au/>
> > The Royal Institution of Australia Inc is a Charitable Institution and is
> a
> > Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)
> > ABN: 98638459658
> >
> > Think B4U Print
> > 1 ream of paper = 6% of a tree and 5.4kg CO2 in the atmosphere
> > 3 sheets of A4 paper = 1 litre of water
> >
> > -------------- next part --------------
> > An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
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> > -------------- next part --------------
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> http://lists.asc.asn.au/pipermail/asc-list/attachments/20101214/ba2c27a1/atta
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> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > ASC-list mailing list
> > list at asc.asn.au
> >
> http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=115
> >
> > End of ASC-list Digest, Vol 73, Issue 20
> > ****************************************
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Susan Kirk <skirk at lingo.net.au>
> To: <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2010 09:22:13 +1000
> Subject: Re: [ASC-list] ASC-list Digest, Vol 73, Issue 20
> Maybe I don't understand the process of publication in a science journal.
> This is my (albeit simplified) understanding.  An experiment is conducted
> within certain parameters or controls and the results are then deciphered.
> The results of the experiment must be able to be replicated with the same
> result.  I thought this experiment was then 'peer reviewed' meaning other
> scientists would test it out.  At this point any shortcomings in any of the
> basic science ie control measures use of equipment etc etc would come to
> the
> fore. If there were shortcomings then the reviewers would say to the
> authors
> go back and do it again.  I imagined that once a paper was published it had
> gained a fair amount of credibility but now it appears that the research
> goes into additional peer review.  How long does this go on for?  At any
> stage is the research discredited/disregarded or accepted as truth? If we
> dont discover the uncertainties which, in this case were sent around the
> blogosphere, how else we will discover them.  Are we the public privy to
> the
> objections?  I can't see where.
>
> Niall is correct.  NASA overcommitted itself with sensational spin that in
> turn seduced the journalists.  The result, the findings became the truth,
> instead of research, none of which contributes to the public understanding
> of science.
>
> I understand that there is a growing consensus that there are issues with
> the veracity of this research as Helen has pointed out.
>
> S
>
>
>
> On 14/12/10 9:00 PM, "asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au"
> <asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au> wrote:
>
> > Send ASC-list mailing list submissions to
> > asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> >
> > To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> > http://lists.asc.asn.au/mailman/listinfo/asc-list
> > or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> > asc-list-request at lists.asc.asn.au
> >
> > You can reach the person managing the list at
> > asc-list-owner at lists.asc.asn.au
> >
> > When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> > than "Re: Contents of ASC-list digest..."
> >
> >
> > Today's Topics:
> >
> >    1. Re: [ExternalEmail] Re: Bacteria spits out arsenic and
> >       scavenges P (Matthew.Levinson at csiro.au)
> >    2. Thinking Critically About Sustainable Energy (Stephan Kern)
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:17:21 +1100
> > From: <Matthew.Levinson at csiro.au>
> > To: <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > Subject: Re: [ASC-list] [ExternalEmail] Re: Bacteria spits out arsenic
> > and scavenges P
> > Message-ID:
> > <B039DE0B62CBDE46AB819FC14FA7A72D019121309B at EXNSW-MBX04.nexus.csiro.au>
> >
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="Windows-1252"
> >
> > Do critics of the blogosphere's reaction realise how much of the best
> science
> > writing is happening on blogs? These aren't (all) undergrads or hobbyists
> -
> > when they talk about "bloggers", they're talking about top flight science
> > writers and scientists writing for the online arms of Discover, Wired,
> Seed,
> > etc.
> >
> > And the reverse chronology blog feed is a style of writing that's just
> really
> > well suited to science. Instead of the story beginning and ending with
> the
> > latest embargoed paper, it's ongoing, updated as new facts come to light
> - in
> > many cases with writers that are following the journals (often in their
> own
> > discipline).
> >
> > And in this case, they picked up issues with the paper that virtually all
> the
> > mainstream media went for. Did having Science and NASA on the stand draw
> > everyone's guards down? Ed Yong was involved right though, and his
> post-mortem
> > really captures it. It seems like NASA messed up the PR, then got a hint
> of
> > what a lot of politicians and businesses have seen in the past year or
> two
> > when the social media world senses it's being taken for a ride.
> >
> > Really interesting case study for anyone interested in the shifting media
> > balance and science communication, that's for sure.
> >
> > Matt
> >
> >
> > ________________________________________
> > From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au [
> asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On
> > Behalf Of Helen Sim [Helen.Sim at csiro.au]
> > Sent: Monday, 13 December 2010 1:39 PM
> > To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> > Subject: [ExternalEmail] Re: [ASC-list] Bacteria spits out arsenic and
> > scavenges P
> >
> > I don't think there's any doubt about the voracity of the findings, but
> their
> > veracity is a different matter.
> >
> > - H
> >
> > On 13/12/10 12:22 PM, Niall Byrne wrote:
> >
> > A good topic.
> >
> > I don?t think this is a debacle ? it?s just science ? with the
> blogosphere
> > over-reacting partly because of a clumsy media alert from NASA that
> > overpromised.
> >
> > I liked this comment from the blog you cited.
> >
> > ?If question remains about the voracity of these authors findings, then
> the
> > only thing that is going to answer that doubt is data.  Data cannot be
> > generated by blog discussion? Talking about digging a ditch never got it
> dug.?
> >
> > Science is messy, peer review is messy and sometimes it?s good for us to
> be
> > exposed to that.
> >
> >
> >
> > Niall
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________
> >
> > Niall Byrne
> >
> > Science in Public has moved to:
> >
> > 82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood  Vic  3015
> > Our postal address is PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015
> > Our landline stays the same - 03 9398 1416.
> >
> > Niall?s mobile: 0417 131 977
> > Sarah?s mobile: 0413 332 489
> >
> > niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
> > Twitter scienceinpublic
> > Full contact details at
> > www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog>
> >
> > From:
> > asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:
> asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Susan Kirk
> > Sent: Saturday, 11 December 2010 1:49 AM
> > To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > Subject: [ASC-list] Bacteria spits out arsenic and scavenges P
> >
> > OK well all is good.  Jessie Shore assures me this is the place to
> > communicate.  So lets get started.
> >
> > There has been much said this week about the arsenic eating bacteria that
> > apparently means we are inhabiting the earth with extra-terrestrials.
>  There?s
> > a whole # devoted to it over at twitter.  My question to the whole
> debacle
> > was, ?If the controls were flawed WHY was the experiment published??
> >
> > Here?s a pretty good timeline of the event
> >
> http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/12/10/arsenic-bacteria
> > -a-post-mortem-a-review-and-some-navel-gazing/
> >
> > S
> >
> > Susan Kirk  Bcomm
> > Journalist
> > MEAA  ASC HMAQ QWC
> > [cid:part1.06020309.09030703 at csiro.au]
> > 39 Shamley Heath Rd,
> > KUREELPA   Q  4560
> > P: +61 7 5478 6761
> > M:+ 61 0414 645 953
> > skirk at lingo.net.au<mailto:skirk at lingo.net.au>
> > www.lingo.net.au<http://www.lingo.net.au>
> > www.lingo.net.au/blog<http://www.lingo.net.au/blog>
> > www.lingo.net.au/discuss<http://www.lingo.net.au/discuss>
> >
> > CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This message may contain privileged and
> confidential
> > information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If
> you are
> > not the intended recipient of this message, any disclosure, copying,
> > distribution or any action taken in reliance on it is prohibited and
> unlawful.
> > ________________________________
> > No virus found in this message.
> > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com<http://www.avg.com>
> > Version: 10.0.1170 / Virus Database: 426/3306 - Release Date: 12/09/10
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > ------
> > Helen Sim
> > Media Liaison and Public Relations
> >
> > CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
> > and
> > Australian Astronomical Observatory
> >
> > T: +61 2 9372 4251
> > M: +61 419 635 905
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:20:23 +1030
> > From: Stephan Kern <SKern at riaus.org.au>
> > To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> > Subject: [ASC-list] Thinking Critically About Sustainable Energy
> > Message-ID:
> > <17094CB8564A9040B2D54019D7EDD0941A89D24BDC at RIA-EXCH01.riaus.internal>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >
> > Hello Everyone,
> >
> > After six months, the Thinking Critically about Energy series is finally
> > complete-  and you can now view the entire TCASE series at the new  RiAus
> On
> > Demand Site
> >
> http://riausondemand.org.au/feature_series/thinking-critically-about-sustainab
> > le-energy/
> >
> > A big thanks to all our speakers for helping produce such an interesting
> and
> > informative series.
> >
> >
> > [cid:image001.jpg at 01CB7689.E60A6870]
> >  Steve Kern
> >  Senior Programs Co-ordinator
> >
> >  Ri Australia
> >  PO Box 3652
> >  RUNDLE MALL  SA  5000
> >  Ph: (08) 7120 8604 | Fax: (08) 8221 6563 |
> > skern at riaus.org.au|<mailto:atyndall at riaustralia.org.au|>
> > www.riaus.org.au<http://www.riaustralia.org.au/>
> > The Royal Institution of Australia Inc is a Charitable Institution and is
> a
> > Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)
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>
>
> Susan Kirk  Bcomm
> Journalist
> MEAA  ASC HMAQ QWC
>
> 39 Shamley Heath Rd,
> KUREELPA   Q  4560
> P: +61 7 5478 6761
> M:+ 61 0414 645 953
> skirk at lingo.net.au
> www.lingo.net.au
> www.lingo.net.au/blog
> www.lingo.net.au/discuss
>
> CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This message may contain privileged and confidential
> information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If you
> are not the intended recipient of this message, any disclosure, copying,
> distribution or any action taken in reliance on it is prohibited and
> unlawful.
>
>
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Magdeline Lum <m.lum at mac.com>
> To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2010 11:50:43 +0800
> Subject: Re: [ASC-list] Bacteria spits out arsenic and scavenges P
> I'm on twitter and I've been following the hashtag #arseniclife and as a
> science communicator, it's been exciting to watch the conversation evolve.
> Initially there was a lot of anger directed at NASA due to the absence of an
> ET announcement. It is no different as to how any other person or
> organisation has been treated by people on the Internet when they feel that
> they have been duped.
>
> Not all has been futile from the blogosphere. Following on from Matthew's
> comments I would like to direct the attention of the critics of bloggers to
> Rosie Redfield's letter in Science. Her critique of the study started at her
> blog here,
> http://rrresearch.blogspot.com/2010/12/arsenic-associated-bacteria-nasas.htmland has also provided her letter published in Science here,
> http://rrresearch.blogspot.com/2010/12/my-letter-to-science.html. There
> are so many adept and established researchers running blogs and some do
> indeed prove to be a record and display of the scientific process.
>
> The sounds from #arseniclife now is a public display of the peer review
> process. The discussion isn't purely "NASA got it so wrong" and much of it
> links to journal articles and lengthy discussions about the science and
> reasoning behind conclusions and questions.
>
> When it comes to the initial publication of the flawed study, who knows
> what really happened. I've been more interested in the reaction from
> everyone else and the demonstration of research conducted by the blogosphere
> and twittersphere. Not everyone involved has been an academic and I think
> this is especially wonderful, particularly if it reminds the PR of science
> organisations that the lack of a science degree doesn't indicate a lack of
> scientific understanding.
>
> Guardian's science story tracker has been invaluable in the coverage of
> news, blogs and articles being created around this.
>
>
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/dec/02/nasa-life-form-bacteria-arsenic?CMP=twt_gu
>
>
>
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/dec/02/nasa-life-form-bacteria-arsenic?CMP=twt_gu>
>
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/dec/02/nasa-life-form-bacteria-arsenic?CMP=twt_gu>
>
>
> Today's Topics:
>
>   1. Re: [ExternalEmail] Re: Bacteria spits out arsenic and
>      scavenges P (Matthew.Levinson at csiro.au)
>   2. Thinking Critically About Sustainable Energy (Stephan Kern)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:17:21 +1100
> From: <Matthew.Levinson at csiro.au>
> To: <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> Subject: Re: [ASC-list] [ExternalEmail] Re: Bacteria spits out arsenic
> and scavenges P
> Message-ID:
> <B039DE0B62CBDE46AB819FC14FA7A72D019121309B at EXNSW-MBX04.nexus.csiro.au>
>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="Windows-1252"
>
> Do critics of the blogosphere's reaction realise how much of the best
> science writing is happening on blogs? These aren't (all) undergrads or
> hobbyists - when they talk about "bloggers", they're talking about top
> flight science writers and scientists writing for the online arms of
> Discover, Wired, Seed, etc.
>
> And the reverse chronology blog feed is a style of writing that's just
> really well suited to science. Instead of the story beginning and ending
> with the latest embargoed paper, it's ongoing, updated as new facts come to
> light - in many cases with writers that are following the journals (often in
> their own discipline).
>
> And in this case, they picked up issues with the paper that virtually all
> the mainstream media went for. Did having Science and NASA on the stand draw
> everyone's guards down? Ed Yong was involved right though, and his
> post-mortem really captures it. It seems like NASA messed up the PR, then
> got a hint of what a lot of politicians and businesses have seen in the past
> year or two when the social media world senses it's being taken for a ride.
>
>
> Really interesting case study for anyone interested in the shifting media
> balance and science communication, that's for sure.
>
> Matt
>
>
> ________________________________________
> From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au [asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au]
> On Behalf Of Helen Sim [Helen.Sim at csiro.au]
> Sent: Monday, 13 December 2010 1:39 PM
> To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
> Subject: [ExternalEmail] Re: [ASC-list] Bacteria spits out arsenic and
> scavenges P
>
> I don't think there's any doubt about the voracity of the findings, but
> their veracity is a different matter.
>
> - H
>
> On 13/12/10 12:22 PM, Niall Byrne wrote:
>
> A good topic.
>
> I don?t think this is a debacle ? it?s just science ? with the blogosphere
>  over-reacting partly because of a clumsy media alert from NASA that
> overpromised.
>
> I liked this comment from the blog you cited.
>
> ?If question remains about the voracity of these authors findings, then the
> only thing that is going to answer that doubt is data.  Data cannot be
> generated by blog discussion? Talking about digging a ditch never got it
> dug.?
>
> Science is messy, peer review is messy and sometimes it?s good for us to be
> exposed to that.
>
>
>
> Niall
>
>
>
>
>
> ________
>
> Niall Byrne
>
> Science in Public has moved to:
>
> 82 Hudsons Road, Spotswood  Vic  3015
> Our postal address is PO Box 2076 Spotswood VIC 3015
> Our landline stays the same - 03 9398 1416.
>
> Niall?s mobile: 0417 131 977
> Sarah?s mobile: 0413 332 489
>
> niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
> >
> Twitter scienceinpublic
> Full contact details at www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog<
> http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/blog>
>
> From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au<
> mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au<asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au>>
> [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Susan Kirk
> Sent: Saturday, 11 December 2010 1:49 AM
> To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au<asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> >
> Subject: [ASC-list] Bacteria spits out arsenic and scavenges P
>
> OK well all is good.  Jessie Shore assures me this is the place to
> communicate.  So lets get started.
>
> There has been much said this week about the arsenic eating bacteria that
> apparently means we are inhabiting the earth with extra-terrestrials.
>  There?s a whole # devoted to it over at twitter.  My question to the whole
> debacle was, ?If the controls were flawed WHY was the experiment published??
>
> Here?s a pretty good timeline of the event
> http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/12/10/arsenic-bacteria-a-post-mortem-a-review-and-some-navel-gazing/
>
> S
>
> Susan Kirk  Bcomm
> Journalist
> MEAA  ASC HMAQ QWC
> [cid:part1.06020309.09030703 at csiro.au]
> 39 Shamley Heath Rd,
> KUREELPA   Q  4560
> P: +61 7 5478 6761
> M:+ 61 0414 645 953
> skirk at lingo.net.au<mailto:skirk at lingo.net.au <skirk at lingo.net.au>>
> www.lingo.net.au<http://www.lingo.net.au>
> www.lingo.net.au/blog<http://www.lingo.net.au/blog>
> www.lingo.net.au/discuss<http://www.lingo.net.au/discuss>
>
> CONFIDENTIALITY NOTE: This message may contain privileged and confidential
> information intended only for the use of the addressee named above. If you
> are not the intended recipient of this message, any disclosure, copying,
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>
> --
> ------
> Helen Sim
> Media Liaison and Public Relations
>
> CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
> and
> Australian Astronomical Observatory
>
> T: +61 2 9372 4251
> M: +61 419 635 905
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:20:23 +1030
> From: Stephan Kern <SKern at riaus.org.au>
> To: "asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au" <asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
> Subject: [ASC-list] Thinking Critically About Sustainable Energy
> Message-ID:
> <17094CB8564A9040B2D54019D7EDD0941A89D24BDC at RIA-EXCH01.riaus.internal>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
> Hello Everyone,
>
> After six months, the Thinking Critically about Energy series is finally
> complete-  and you can now view the entire TCASE series at the new  RiAus On
> Demand Site
>
> http://riausondemand.org.au/feature_series/thinking-critically-about-sustainable-energy/
>
> A big thanks to all our speakers for helping produce such an interesting
> and informative series.
>
>
> [cid:image001.jpg at 01CB7689.E60A6870]
> Steve Kern
> Senior Programs Co-ordinator
>
> Ri Australia
> PO Box 3652
> RUNDLE MALL  SA  5000
> Ph: (08) 7120 8604 | Fax: (08) 8221 6563 | skern at riaus.org.au|<mailto:
> atyndall at riaustralia.org.au|> www.riaus.org.au<
> http://www.riaustralia.org.au/>
> The Royal Institution of Australia Inc is a Charitable Institution and is a
> Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)
> ABN: 98638459658
>
> Think B4U Print
> 1 ream of paper = 6% of a tree and 5.4kg CO2 in the atmosphere
> 3 sheets of A4 paper = 1 litre of water
>
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Writing Clear Science
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