Research Communicator - January 2011
from AlphaGalileo — January 2011
Another new year
The News Service has continued to expand the number of subscribers throughout the year. The number of American users is rising and we are encouraging greater use of the service in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The service is now available at Austrian, French, German, Irish and Spanish domains, for example www.alphagalileo.de
Sadly Sonia Lopez Garcia-Parrado has left the company following her marriage and move to Brazil. Figen Eker has now taken over full responsibility for the News Team, as Senior News Manager.
Our training courses, run initially as pilots, have been very successful and we hope to offer these again plus an advanced press officer's course in 2011.
We had a strong presence at the Wissenschaft im Dialog conference in Mannheim in November, and are planning a one day event in Vienna next Autumn. The help that the Klaus Tschira Stiftung has provided the Foundation is gratefully acknowledged and allows us to invest more effort in supporting our German-speaking users.
The coming year offers the research community the opportunity to demonstrate the significance of research to the global economy and the quality of everyone's lives. AlphaGalileo's global reach will allow us to continue to play a key part in this.
Evan Harris — New Member of the Foundation
AlphaGalileo Foundation Ltd does not have shareholders. A small number of Members have the ultimate say in the performance of the Directors in delivering the news service. We are pleased to welcome Evan Harris, former Liberal Democrat spokesman on science, as a Member.
Evan trained as a doctor and has worked at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. He was elected to the UK’s House of Commons at the 1997 General Election and remained an MP until 2010. He served as frontbench spokesman on Health in 1997, following the 2005 general election, Harris became Liberal Democrat spokesman on Science, a position he held until his defeat in the 2010 general election. He was a member of the select committees for science and technology between 2003 and 2010, and for human rights between 2005 and 2010. He has backed reform of the UK’s defamation laws.
Evan continues to campaign for greater recognition of the significance of research and is a strong believer that science should engage in vigorous debate over its position in society.
The full list of Member is:
Professor Roberto Amendolia - Italy
Gilbert Balavoine - France
Professor Enric Banda - Spain
Professor Colin Blakemore - UK
Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Breuer - Germany
Cecilia Capello Valdés - Spain
Clive Cookson - UK
Thomas Evensen - Norway
Ian Halliday - UK
Evan Harris - UK
Dr Robert Hawley CBE - UK
Mike Kenward - UK
Lawrence McGinty - UK
Derek Nelson - UK
Peter Reader - UK
Carl Johan Sundberg - Sweden
Tina Zethraeus - Sweden
New subscription rates offer savings
We have the pleasure to announce that from 1 January 2011 we are aligning our non European rates on our European prices and decreasing our Premium and Business subscriptions rates.
The Entry level and Standard level subscriptions remain at €990 and €1,650, the Premium level and Business level subscriptions will decrease to €1,950 (instead of €2,300 and €2,800). Also, discounts will be available for extra language versions of postings for our pay per post contributors. Here is a link to our subscriptions and prices.
|VIP Profile: Tim Radford, addicted to good stories
Tim Radford is a freelance journalist, formally retired some years ago as science editor of the Guardian, but still addicted to good stories.
I cannot remember when I first endorsed AlphaGalileo. I think I said something warm but ultimately noncommittal such as "No science writer's day is complete without a visit to AlphaGalileo." It was a bit like saying "No soldier's day is complete without shiny parade ground boots." At the time, the Web was still a novelty to many people and science - real science - seemed to be a novelty to many readers and AlphaGalileo was simply part of the day's processional search for news and feature possibilities. It still is, but it became more than that: it became the place to go to for stories that you really didn't expect.
A newspaper science writer's horizons are always in some danger of being constrained by the procession of papers in Nature and Science, by research council press conferences, by the science component of the wider news agenda. It was always a delight to whizz through the AlphaGalileo shopping list to discover unexpected, hitherto unexplored bits of scientific landscape.
Among the relatively recent findings that have given pleasure, in no particular order, and summoned from memory: the connection between transhumance and scavenging by vultures in the Pyrenees; the prevalence of bats in the Basque country; the inertial political choices of people with no ideology to speak of; that the brains of modern humans and Neanderthals developed differently, and that somebody has developed a camera that mimics the vision of a bee. These eclectic instances confirm my point: AlphaGalileo is a good place to go to for the science you didn't think you wanted to know about. And as more institutions subscribe, it can only get better.
|Staff pick — Our editorial team’s selection for 2010
Another year is over. AlphaGalileo's editorial team selected some of the images published in 2010 and related to research news stories characteristics of the past year. They have gone around the world and we hope you will find them as impressive as we did.
Caption: Peter Okeno Ong’are, a researcher in the Music Department at Durham University, has developed a new notation system for drums to overcome a modern-day problem where the family tradition of teaching African drumming is being lost. A song promoting a ‘rhythm for success,’ to inspire footballers to score more goals during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, has been composed using the new ‘language’.
Caption: This image, acquired on 15 April 2010 by Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS), shows the vast cloud of volcanic ash sweeping across the UK from the eruption in Iceland, more than 1000 km away. The ash, which can be seen as the large grey streak in the image, is drifting from west to east at a height of about 11 km above the surface Earth. Credits: ESA
Caption: The microwave sky as seen by Planck. Credits: ESA/ LFI & HFI Consortia
Caption: The world’s oldest leather shoe found in a cave in Armenia
Hits Parade — AlphaGalileo Top 5
Our hit parade compiles the press releases with a higher number of visits in December 2010:
1. Lost images of 'human exhibits' in Britain discovered — University of Leicester — 14/12/2010
Species differences in the pattern of brain development after birth that are likely to contribute to cognitive differences between modern humans and Neanderthals have been documented by Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
2. Breakthrough towards lab-on-chip system for fast detection of single nucleotide variations in DNA — Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) — 10/12/2010
Panasonic and IMEC presented at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco various critical components of a biomedical lab-on-chip sensor enabling fast detection of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA.
3. ETH Zurich and University of Cambridge top list of finalists for European spin-out awards — Science Business — 15/12/2010
Groups from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) and the University of Cambridge lead a list of 18 entrepreneurs and spin-out companies chosen to go through to the finals on 3 February in Zurich of the only pan-European awards for university researchers who start businesses.
4. Plain tobacco packaging ‘risks a price war’, Abertay expert warns — University of Abertay Dundee — 03/12/2010
UK Government plans to remove logos from cigarette packaging risk “dangerous unintended consequences”, including a price war that could actually lead to more smoking, a law expert at the University of Abertay Dundee has warned.
5. Wikis in higher education — Inderscience — 03/12/2010
As the issue of student fees remains high on the political agenda researchers continue to investigate ways in which teaching standards might be maintained or even improved in higher education. This is particularly apposite given the current economic climate and the employability of students leaving education. Writing in the International Journal of Innovation in Education, a team at Glasgow Caledonian University, in Scotland, explains how wikis can assist in this regard.
Yuri Gagarin graphic novel launched — Spaced Design — 6 January 2011
|The Savvy User's Corner — Sharing Login Details…
Sharing login details among different users is not allowed in AlphaGalileo. Although sometimes this could seem a practical way of using our service, sharing these details is a bad practice that can slow the process of posting your news.
All the items posted in our service are reviewed by a news editor. When we find a mistake or a problem in a press release we have to contact the person who posted the item. However, when the user is using an account with the telephone or email address of a colleague we may not be able to do so.
Research organisations can have as many users as they wish in their AlphaGalileo’s accounts so please do not hesitate to register in our service if you have to post an item on behalf of your organisation. This only takes a couple of minutes and will help us to contact you if necessary and keep a better service.
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