Think Like a Scientist: Media and Writing

My Efforts to Show How Scientists Think About the Problems That Life Throws At Us

Physics Takes the Biscuit

Posted on February 1, 1999

Nature, February 1999 Why did a light-hearted experiment attract so much attention from the media? The episode is an interesting lesson for those wanting to explain science to the wider public – equations do not always scare people away. Here is my justification: Physics takes the biscuit copy

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Scientists Get the Art of Dunking Down to a T

The Daily Telegraph One of the best media stories about the physics of dunking a biscuit. Unlike some newspapers, the Daily Telegraph actually got the equation right, and also explained just what it meant extremely well. Conclusion: Many journalists are really keen to help put over what science is about. It is really up to scientists to help them more. View image of article

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Dunking Correspondence and Comments

Posted on November 25, 1998

Here are a couple of letters representing the extremes of the many that I have received: Abusive Letter re Dunking Sir, I have just watched a programme on TV on how to dunk a biscuit which I believe was a project headed by yourself. What a complete waste of time, of manpower and machinery. Who in their right mind could sanction this scheme. I am sure you could be more dutifully employed as street cleaners or ticket collectors. Is this ...

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Show Him How It’s Done: Megalab 98

Pre-dating my biscuit dunking activities, I held a British Association Media Fellowship in 1996 which allowed me to be involved with BBC Television’s “Megalab” programme, for which I conceived and organised a World Record Indoor Boomerang competition. It was all great fun, and the winner threw and caught his tiny cardboard boomerang a record 21 times around a pole 3 meters away! View image of article

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