Reading scientific papers has always been a challenge, especially in areas that I’m not very clued up on. Now that I’ve been out of the research bubble for a while, it’s become even more difficult.
This is why our practical this semester has been quite a task. We were given three Nature papers published at the end of 2012 to read, and understand to a deep enough level so that we could produce some media content about them.
The papers were:
1) Mammalian heart cell renewal by pre-existing cardiomyocytes
2) Highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes from delayed fluorescence
3) Bright rado emission from an ultraluminous stellar-mass microquasar in M 31
As a physics graduate, I managed to make out most of what the microquasar paper was about but the other two were a complete mystery.
Luckily, our group (Joshua Howgego, Jess Lowrie, Tasch Mehrabi, Nick Kennedy and myself) managed to work together to translate the other two and make some headway.
One of the tasks we were set was to pick one paper and produce a radio news package about it using role-play. We had to pretend to be either someone involved with the research, or two other characters that could be linked to the work.
We chose the mammalian heart paper for the radio package, because as a group we felt it was the most newsworthy. We chose to role play the lead researcher, a heart attack patient, and a scientist from the same field.