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3.3 Producing a scientific paper: science communication as knowledge production and exchange

As with all other communication, the production of science communication does not exist in a social vacuum. It involves norms and conventions that science communicators learn as part of the process of becoming a scientist. As you have seen, in taking on this social role scientists are both motivated and constrained in how they communicate, depending on the content and context of the communication. Indeed, part of the remit of this course is to develop your skills as scientists, to ensure that
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Optional reading

If you are interested in considering the role of the internet on science communication practices, you may find the following references are of interest: Wulf (1999), Rzepa (1999) and Rowland (1999a).

So far, you have been asked to reflect on your experiences of science communication both as a receiver and as a producer. You have also considered a definition for communication in terms of different types of media, noting how this influences the context for science communication (e.g. ‘f
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Optional reading

If you are interested in investigating the issues raised by the House of Lords Select Committee report in more detail, you will find a copy of the full report on the web at:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldselect/ldsctech/38/3801.htm

The following references also discuss issues related to key findings from this report: Irwin and Michael (2003, particularly pp. 19–40), Miller (2001) and Gibbons (1999).

This overall picture places demands on you as a co
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1.7 Interlude

Now that we have covered the features found in igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, and seen how these features can be explained by the processes that formed the rocks, here is a useful point at which to have a break before continuing with the next section. Before returning, you might like to see for yourself what types of rock you can find in your area. Can you identify their texture, or spot any fossils? Surfaces that haven't been obscured by grime or lichens are by far the best, as
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3.1.2. After reading this article:

The chapter by Teesson et al. (2002) will have presented you with a clearly written initial orientation to addiction. The article introduced addiction at several different levels of explanation in what the authors term a ‘biopsy chosocial model’ (p. 47). Such an integrated model is at the heart of the app
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3.1.1 Before reading this article:

Take some time to think about what ‘addiction’ means to you – how chemical and non-chemical substances can be abused and how they can lead to dependent behaviour that can affect individuals and the society in which they live. Write down your ideas.

This short exercise may be useful to establish
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1.2.3 The physiological and behavioural levels

Anticipation of winter

If organisms are to survive winter, they must be well prepared for cold weather and sometimes for reduced supply of food. Physiological changes such as shedding leaves and building up fat reserves, and behaviours such as hoarding food, must be completed before winter begins. In order to be prepared, organisms need to anticipate the onset of winter, which is done in two ways, each of which has its own associated physiological mechanisms. First, they could re
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1.2 Response to winter: understanding at different levels

Winter in a temperate region poses a number of environmental problems for organisms. Most obviously, average temperatures are lower than at other times of year and there are frequent frosts. Frost is highly significant for living organisms because water forms such a large proportion of their body tissues; for the great majority of organisms, freezing of their tissues leads to death. Secondly, because, as shown in Table 1.1, many adult organisms die, go into hiding or migrate in winter, many o
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1.8 Primordial nucleosynthesis

Time: 100 s to 1000 s

Temperature: 109 K to 3 × 108 K

Energy: 300 keV to 100 keV

As the temperature continued to decrease, protons and neutrons were able to combine to make light nuclei. This marked the beginning of the period referred to as the era of primordial nucleosynthesis (which literally means ‘making nuclei’). The first such reaction to become energetically favoured was that of a single proton and neutron comb
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1.6 The quark-lepton era (contd)

The next stage of the story is to look at how and when the original mixture of all types of quark and lepton that were present when the Universe was 10−11 s old, gave rise to the Universe today, which seems to be dominated by protons, neutrons and electrons.

Question 8

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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you be able to:

  • discuss the sequence of the events that are believed to have taken place in the history of the Universe, particularly the particle reactions that occurred in the first few minutes after the Big Bang, and the role of unified theories in explaining those events;

  • manipulate large and small numbers in scientific notation, and calculate values for quantities when given appropriate numerical information.


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Introduction

This unit explores origins of the Universe by looking in detail at events immediately following the Big Bang. Starting with looking at the cooling of the very early Universe, the unit then moves on to the inflation era, the quark-lepton and the hadron era. Then the unit looks at how fundamental particles began to synthesise to form nuclei, and from here it discusses the development of larger structures like stars and galaxies. By examining closely the forces in play and the interactions of fu
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Unit Image

Calum Davidson

All other materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.

1. Join the 200,000 students currently studying withAuthor(s): The Open University

6: Summary

All objects, irrespective of their mass, experience the same acceleration g when falling freely under the influence of gravity at the same point on the Earth. Close to the Earth's surface, g=9.8 m s−2. The weight of an object is the force F g due to gravity acting on the object, and for an object with mass m the weight is given by F g=mg.

If the height of an object of mass m changes by Δh, the ch
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Introduction

From the moment that Galileo dropped two cannonballs of different sizes and weights from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa mankind has been fascinated by the impact of gravity. This unit looks at gravity, its impact on objects and how the energy involved in the movement of objects is dispersed or stored.

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from How the universe works (S197) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, yo
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4.3 Seismic energy

It is also possible to relate magnitude to the seismic energy released by an earthquake. An increase of one unit on the Richter scale represents an increase of about 40 times in the amount of seismic energy released.

Question 2

What i
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1 Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin (1809–1882) briefly studied medicine in Edinburgh before going to Cambridge intending to become an Anglican clergyman. Soon after the voyage of the Beagle (1831–1836), during which he was gentleman companion to Captain FitzRoy, Darwin became convinced that biological evolution had occurred and saw how it could have been brought about by natural selection. Despite having gathered massive amounts of supporting evidence, Darwin refrained from publishing his revol
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Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit you should know that:

  • By biological evolution we mean that many of the organisms that inhabit the Earth today are different from those that inhabited it in the past.

  • Natural selection is one of several processes that can bring about evolution, although it can also promote stability rather than change.

  • The four propositions underlying Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection are: (1) more individuals are produced
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1.4.8 Summary

In this section we have introduced you to the PROMPT checklist as a useful tool for assessing the quality of any piece of information. If you use it regularly you will find that you develop the ability to scan information quickly and identify strengths and weaknesses. As a closing exercise you might like to pick one of the websites below or any of your own choice and try to evaluate it using the PROMPT criteria. To make it easier for you we have provided a printable checklist (see below).


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3.1.1 (A) Science and certainty

Pupils should appreciate why much scientific knowledge, particularly that taught in school science, is well established and beyond reasonable doubt, and why other scientific knowledge is more open to legitimate doubt. It should also be explained that current scientific knowledge is the best that we have but may be subject to change in the future, given new evidence or new interpretation of old evidence.


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