Friday, 23 January 2009

New Scientist Relaunch

Last night I attended a function for the 2009 relaunch of science magazine giant New Scientist. These types of events are always nice - free food and drink, a chance to mingle with interesting people and the opportunity to play 10-pin bowling on their Wii. A few big names in Australian science communication were there - for example Karl Kruszelnicki, Wilson da Silva, Leigh Dayton and Bianca Nogrady - and in general I thought it was a good night. The things I learnt were:
  1. The new New Scientist looks quite a lot like the old New Scientist. In fact, with regard to the print edition, I probably wouldn't have known it was any different if I hadn't been told. However, their new website looks very nice and seems to be much easier to navigate - I found their old website quite difficult to get around and would often not be able to find articles that I knew were there;
  2. Much of the content in the Australian version of New Scientist is written in the UK. The employees of New Scientist who I met were generally in advertising or marketing. This meant I couldn't really smooze them into publishing any articles by me;
  3. The Australian Museum, where the event was held, has a magnificent view out to St. Mary's Cathedral and down to Woolloomooloo. Looks like a good venue for my 30th, if only I could afford it... I didn't bring my camera, but I had my phone for low-res photos;
  4. Not all science communicators wear loud flowery shirts - although a distinct fraction do. The wearing of such a shirt does not correlate with your ability as a science communicator, nor your ability to play Wii.

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