Universiteit Leiden

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This Week’s Discoveries | 13 February 2018

13 februari 2018
Oort Building
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
De Sitterzaal

First speaker

Exaggerated health news

Ionica Smeets (IBL)
Ionica is professor of science communication and head of the group Science communication and society at IBL. She wants to improve the interaction between science and society by studying how science communication works.

Results from health research are regularly exaggerated in the media. For instance, a newspaper recently reported ‘Creative person has a lower risk of getting Parkinson’s disease’, while the original research paper claimed that ‘Artistic occupations are associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease.’
In our recent paper we track how research is translated from scientific publications to news articles via press releases. We collected press releases on biomedical research, their associated peer reviewed research papers and associated news articles. Two independent coders did a quantitative content analysis on these materials. We found that 20% of press releases and 29% of news articles contain exaggerated causal claims. Furthermore, there was a strong correlation between exaggeration in press releases and news articles. We discuss the implications of our work and how science communication via press releases and media could be improved.

Second Lecture

Jupiter internal structure and the first Juno results

Yamila Miguel ( Leiden Observatory)
Yamila is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she completed her PhD studying planetary systems formation. From 2011 to 2014 she was a postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, where she started studying chemistry in exoplanets’ atmospheres (rocky and giant planets). She was at the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur between 2015 and 2017 (as a Henri Poincaré Postdoctoral Fellow and later a CNES Postdoctoral Fellow), studying the interior structure of giant planets and as a part of the Juno mission science team. This year she started as an assistant professor at Leiden Observatory where she will continue studying (exo)planet atmospheres and their interiors, towards a better understanding of their origins. her main interests are the study of atmospheres, interior and formation of exoplanets and planets in our solar system. 

The key to understand our origins is in the interiors and atmospheres of the giant planets. Jupiter is the biggest planet in our system and the most influential one: its large mass shaped the architecture of the solar system and due to its fast formation it contains valuable information of the solar system formation history. In orbit since July 2016, the first orbits of Juno mission had led to a remarkable improving of the planet gravity data, changing our knowledge of the planetary interior and leading to a much better comprehension of the giant planet and its role in the solar system. In this talk, I will present the last Juno results and the models we use to understand Jupiter interior.

This Week's Discoveries