2020 SCIENCE

Personal notes and articles on emerging technologies, responsible innovation, science communication and the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, from Center Director Andrew Maynard.

Catch up with the latest notes  Browse longer articles

LATEST ARTICLES

Thumbnail Advanced materials Complete750x400
Advanced Materials – What’s the big deal?

Why are materials important? How do they limit what we can achieve? And what can we do to change this?  (Check ...

Nano silver to be used to treat Ebola patients
Is using nano silver to treat Ebola misguided?

On Thursday this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ebola victims in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos will receive Nano Silver in ...

Maynard 140816 Maker health 750x400
Color my Poop Beautiful – and other tales of DIY Health

(Update: Link to PDF of presentation added) Is it possible – just possible – that you have a nugget of ...

Andrew Maynard, science communication
Confessions of a Scientist Communicator

I consider myself to be pretty self-aware.  It’s an illusion of course, but one I am usually blissfully ignorant of. ...


Hacking health, maker movement and public health
Hacking the world, public health style

What has the Maker Movement got to do with public health? Quite a lot as it turns out, as I ...

Brian Zikmund-Fisher talk's to NPRs Robert Siegel about risk and feelings
When risk gets personal

When you’re facing a life or death situation, what do the odds mean – to you personally?  As Brian Zikmund-Fisher ...

Laboratory safety
The gathering storm of lab safety

Pathogen safety in federal labs Over the past few weeks, revelations of potentially dangerous errors in US federal labs handling pathogens have placed ...

Vantablack Feature
How safe is the world’s darkest material?

Vantablack - the new black? Over the past few days, the interweb’s been awash with virtual “oohs” and “ahs” over Surrey ...




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NOTES AND THOUGHTS …


Is early development exposure to lead linked to obesity later in life?

August 8, 2014

A few of my colleagues in the University of Michigan Environmental Health Sciences Department have just published an interesting paper linking lead exposure to obesity in mice (Faulk et al. Perinatal Lead (Pb) Exposure Results in Sex-Specific Effects on Food Intake, Fat, Weight, and Insulin Response across the Murine Life-Course PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104273). While ...

Geeking out on the science of risk – check out the new look Risk Bites

August 7, 2014

We’ve been making Risk Bites videos for a couple of years now – if you haven’t seen them, they’re short, understandable and (hopefully) entertaining videos about the science behind human health risks. If you haven’t checked out the channel in a while, please pop over and take a look (http://www.youtube.com/user/riskbites/videos).  We’ve been implementing ...

How far should universities go in hyping research?

August 1, 2014

An article passed through my Twitter stream today from Gizmodo shouting out “Change Your Hair Color By Etching Nano-Patterns Into Each Strand”. It pretty much mirrors a press release from the University of New Mexico claiming “New technology allows hair to reflect almost any color”. Carbon-copy reporting is pretty much standard these days in science ...

Creative and collaborative health solutions – We Make Health Fest

August 1, 2014

Just a reminder that I will be speaking at the first We Make Health Fest in Ann Arbor, on August 16.  This is an event for for anyone passionate about health, technology, and participatory design. And its for the whole family – kids are as just as much a part of the collective “maker” ...

The unspoken but vitally important issue of open defecation

July 28, 2014

In preparing for the next Risk Bites video (out this week), I came across the website opendefecation.org, and was so struck by both the importance of the message and the effectiveness with which it’s communicated, that I felt compelled to share it here. Open defection is when people have no option but to ...

Q&A on Nanotech regulation in Europe

July 25, 2014

Chemistry World posted a good article yesterday on nanotech regulation in Europe (Europe mulls best way to handle nanotech by Andrew Williams).  I have a couple of quotes in the piece, along with Risk Science Center colleague Diana Bowman).  These are taken from a longer set of responses to questions from Williams, which ...

Six years of nanoparticle sunscreen safety scribblings

July 24, 2014

I was going through the 2020 Science archives the other day looking for pieces on nanoparticles and sunscreens, and was rather shocked to see that the earliest article dates back to 2008! Here they are in chronological order – surprising how little things change with time!  The 2010 exchange with Friends of ...

The antibiotics challenge

July 23, 2014

Neil Hawkins at Dow Chemical tweeted me a link to this piece in the New York Times this morning: A Dearth in Innovation for Key Drugs (Eduardo Porter) There is clearly something wrong with pharmaceutical innovation. Antibiotic-resistant infections sicken more than two million Americans every year and kill at least 23,000. The ...

Risk and feelings

July 22, 2014

Last year, I made a short series of videos on health risks  with risk communication expert Brian Zikmund Fisher, exploring such concepts as feelings, the unknown and “dread”.  These are now available in an eight and a half minute YouTube playlist – just in time to coincide with Brian’s NPR interview ...

Who’s afraid of carbon nanotubes?

July 18, 2014

I’ve been fascinated by the coverage of Surrey nanosystems’ carbon nanotube-based Vantablack material this week. The material’s had widespread coverage – just Google “vantablack” to see what I mean.  But in amongst all the geeked-out media excitement over the world’s darkest material, there’s been nary a word on the possible health risks ...

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Exploring the link between heavy metals, noise and hearing loss

Much of the estimated 50 million tons of discarded electronic waste (e-waste) from around the world ends up at informal, ...



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