01 July 2006

Flash in the PAN

Public awareness mania is spreading. We now have the EU banging on about something called the Public Awareness of Nuclear Science – shouldn't that be public engagement?

It doesn't seem to be about nuclear power so much as about nuclear physics.

"The objective of PANS (Public Awareness of Nuclear Science) was to establish a European-wide network for communicating information on positive achievements, techniques and diverse applications of nuclear physics to the general public."

The announcement is infuriatingly devoid of links to the stuff it writes about. So we had to go dig out a link for something called webSCS. Er, we failed. They don't mention it in the text, but perhaps they meant us to look at NUPEX.

"NUPEX is a free knowledge database on the Internet that offers teachers, pupils and students the opportunity to access information on nuclear science of excellent content and in outstanding form. NUPEX is maintained and monitored by experienced nuclear physicists in Europe. It is prepared in accordance with national teaching plans and the needs expressed by teachers."

Don't you love the bit about "excellent content and in outstanding form"? Not only does it read like a translation into English, it also begs the question. Shouldn't it be up to the reader to make those judgements?

Post a Comment