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Matt Shipman
I explain things for a living.
I explain things for a living.


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I did an interview with Jamie Broadnax about sci/tech, diversity and pop culture. She is great.

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Alan Rickman is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors I will ever work with. He is also, one of the loyalest and most supportive people I've ever met in the film industry. He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I'm pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn't have to do that. I know other people who've been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say "if you call Alan, it doesn't matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he's doing, he'll get back to you within a day".

People create perceptions of actors based on the parts they played so it might surprise some people to learn that contrary to some of the sterner(or downright scary) characters he played, Alan was extremely kind, generous, self-deprecating and funny. And certain things obviously became even funnier when delivered in his unmistakable double-bass.

As an actor he was one of the first of the adults on Potter to treat me like a peer rather than a child. Working with him at such a formative age was incredibly important and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career. Film sets and theatre stages are all far poorer for the loss of this great actor and man.

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People often have questions about holiday treats, and science can help us answer them. Here's the second of two science posts that are seasonally appropriate... (And, FYI, booze doesn't help as much as you'd think.) #holidayseason #eggnog  

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People often have questions about holiday treats, and science can help us answer them. Here's the first of two science posts that are seasonally appropriate... (and the answer depends).

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What does "community engagement" mean in the world of science? Why is AAAS launching a new fellowship program on community engagement? Why is it developing an entire online platform designed to facilitate community engagement? I talked to Lou Woodley, who is leading the fellowship program, to find out.

Oh my God. Just saw the news about the shooting in Oregon. So awful. So awful. So awful.

I'm now waiting for NRA's inevitable announcement that the problem is that we don't have enough guns. Demonstrably false, of course. But NRA knows that gun enthusiasts don't care about facts, because they believe they're in the right -- and facts don't trump belief. (You see this in everything from vaccines to climate change -- the belief that facts can change minds is the information-deficit model, and it doesn't work very well.)

Next, someone will talk about how we shouldn't "politicize" a mass shooting. Even though gun laws are legislated, ergo political.

It's like reading a script where you know what's going to happen next. And nothing will change, because too many politicians are cowards, and not enough people have made gun control a deciding issue in how they cast their votes.

Jesus wept.

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Reporters need access to government scientists. When they don't get it, that's a problem.

An epic rant on this, by me.

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So, I wrote a book on practical science communication. Here's why.

(TL;DR - because I hope it will be useful.)
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