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What we are reading

The ISC Science Communications Network
shares some of the key readings to catch up on during summer or winter breaks.

1. Book: “Rescue: From Global Crisis to a Better World” – by Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin tackles the challenges and opportunities posed by the pandemic, ranging from globalization to the future of jobs, income inequality and geopolitics, the climate crisis and the modern city. It is a fresh, bold call for an optimistic future and one we all have the power to create.

2. Blog: Tell me a story – why climate change communication needs to embrace our childlike curiosity – by Holly Parker

children at a zoo

Holly Parker explores how embracing the childlike curiosity of “why” can assist in communicating the complex issues of climate change. This story is part of the Transform21: Global Science Portal series, where we collect the latest scientific knowledge on the transformations needed for more sustainable, more resilient societies and economies.

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orange sheets of paper lie on a green school board and form a chat bubble with three crumpled papers.

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3. Blog: How bioengineering could change our world in 10 years (+ an illustrated comic series!) – by the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

Like any other technology, bioengineering has a damaging potential, whether through misuse, weaponization or accidents. This risk can create significant threats with large potential consequences to public health, privacy or to environmental safety. The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge set to explore the opportunities and threats associated with technological, regulatory and social change. Read the full article.

4. Report on new ways to measure human wellbeing towards sustainability – by IIASA

From science to implementation: How do we know if humankind is moving in the right direction towards global sustainability? A group of researchers have proposed a new, tailor-made metric that measures development based on long-term human wellbeing: Years of Good Life (YoGL). Read the full report.

5. Report on how forests and trees can help alleviate poverty in Africa – by IUFRO

Although often overlooked resources, forests and tree-based systems are vital in efforts to address poverty. However, it is crucial that policy and management measures that enable forests and trees to alleviate poverty are tailored to each specific context. Read the full report.

6. Newsletter on Science Policy and Diplomacy – by the Australian Academy of Science

The Science Policy and Diplomacy newsletter highlights important science policy discussion and events in Australia and around the globe. In the latest issue, they explore the science of immunization, decode science and explain “how science knows what it knows”, share a Science for Policy handbook and more. Read the June 2021 issue.

7. Blog: “The Science of Science Communication: Why it matters” – by Mike Schäfer

In the age of digital communication, where the line between knowledge creators and knowledge consumers is blurred, Schäfer argues for a more evidence-based science communication. The exponentially growing interdisciplinary filed of “science of science communication” can help navigate this complex space.

8. Book: How Everything Can Collapse: A Manual for our Times 1st Edition – by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens

Collapse is the horizon of our generation. But collapse is not the end – it’s the beginning of our future. We will reinvent new ways of living in the world and being attentive to ourselves, to other human beings and to all our fellow creatures.

“This is a book of hope, despite its doomsday title,” says ISC Communications Director Alison Meston.

9. Book: Data Feminism (Strong Ideas) – by Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein

The narratives around big data and data science are overwhelmingly white, male, and techno-heroic. In Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein present a new way of thinking about data science and data ethics―one that is informed by intersectional feminist thought.

10. Book: The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread – And Why They Stop – by Adam Kucharski

Kucharski uncovers the underlying principles that drive contagion, from infectious diseases and online misinformation to gun violence and financial crises. It explains what makes things spread, why outbreaks look like they do, and how we can change what happens in future.

11. Book: Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst – by Robert Sapolsky

The book is a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do… for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace.

12. Blog series:Science of Democracy’ series on The Loop – by ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research)

The ECPR has recently launched a new thread entitled ‘Science of Democracy’ in which political theorists from all over the world explore conceptions and definitions of democracy, responding to Jean-Paul Gagnon’s claim that democracy is an abandoned science which needs rescuing.

All articles in the series are marked with 🦋, with more to be added over the coming months.

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