Comment »Posted on Monday 6 October 2008 at 4:56 pm by Jacob Aron
In About Just A Theory

(Sorry if this post seems to be springing about all over the place – there was a mixup with the timestamping and it got posted to Saturday rather than Monday…)

This week I will finally be starting the Science Communication MSc at Imperial College. Term officially started on Saturday (yes, I’m not quite sure why either), and there is a welcome event this afternoon, but everything really kicks off tomorrow. I thought I’d lay out how I see Just A Theory changing once the course starts.

Me, Myself and I

When relevant, I plan to post about myself a little bit more. How the course is going, highlights from interesting lectures, that sort of thing. If you’re just here for the science, feel free to skip over these posts – they will all be in the Happenings category. I will try and keep it focused on actual science communication however, and not just “this is how my day went” type posts.

The Secret Ingredient Of Primary Sources

As a member of Imperial College I will have an Athens username. This incredibly useful system allows you to access hundreds of online scientific journals from any computer, courtesy of your institution’s blanket license. At the moment, it is very rare that I can write about new research directly from the peer-reviewed paper – an individual 24-hour license for one journal can cost as much as $20, and I just can’t afford that. This has been bugging me ever since starting Just A Theory, but using Athens I will be able to rely less on press releases and more on scientists own words.

Things Can Only Get Better

Or so I hope. The whole point of this course is to make me a better science communicator; I would like to think that as I progress the quality of my writing will increase. I think that in the two months or so I’ve been working on Just A Theory I’ve already made improvements, but I’ll let you be the judge of that!

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

I’m really looking forward to starting the course, but I’m also under no illusion – it’s going to be a lot of work. So far I have posted every single day since starting, but if course commitments become too intense I may have to scale back a bit. At the moment I tend to write two or three days ahead of myself to allow a bit of breathing room, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep up on the daily posts. We shall see.

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