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TV Science

Science fiction on TV can be a good thing — besides being entertaining, it can inspire kids to think of science as a possible future career, says Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait, even when it's not terribly accurate. But when it comes to actual science on TV, like in the news or in documentaries, accuracy is an absolute must. In this video piece, British scientist Brian Cox explains the difference between documentaries and polemics, which are meant to guide or change opinions, and says that while scientists must make TV work for them as a medium, they must also stop worrying about what their audience thinks of their conclusions and just present the science as it is. "Compelling science can make compelling television, but the science must be allowed to speak freely," Plait says.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.