The Sydney Morning Herald’s
science editor Nicky Phillips
brings her unique perspectives on
science to this six-part series.
Ever heard that lightning doesn't strike the same place twice? Well, it's a myth. So is the one about touching a toad will give you warts. Myths are everywhere, and can be hard to escape. This week on Science is Golden we bust a few of the most common and annoying scientific misconceptions.
The science of self control
Are you born with self control or do you learn it along the way? Producer Nicky Phillips seeks out the answers and, in doing so, performs her own version of the famous self control experiment called the Marshmallow Test.
Studying dead bodies
Shari Forbes hates scary movies but she's fascinated by dead bodies. As a forensic scientist, she's spent the past 15 years researching how human corpses decompose in different environments and conditions. From next year Shari will run Australia's first body farm in western Sydney.
The man who invented Vegemite
Vegemite might be a household staple today, but when it first landed on supermarket shelves it was a total flop. Without the perseverance of its inventor, a chemist named Cyril Callister, it would almost certainly have been scrapped.
Human guinea pigs
Stevan Nikolin reckons he's volunteered for more than 50 scientific studies in the past ten years.
The most bizarre study he remembers was being asked to move his little finger, and only his little finger, non-stop for two minutes. The researchers were interested in how much force the muscle that moves the little finger from a from a closed hand position to an open one.
Without these people, a lot of science and medical research wouldn't be possible.
In the second episode of Science is Golden we explore what motivates people to volunteer for research.
The untold story of Dora Lush
In what can only be described as a tragic accident, a young medical researcher, Dora Lush, dies when she pricks her finger on a contaminated needle in 1943. Although she's been dead for more than 50 years, Dora Lush has touched the lives of many people, but especially three Melbourne women.