Media coverage versus author commentary

There’s a study out in Proceedings of the Royal Society on how leafcutter ant colony size might be constrained by logistics. If you’d like a summary, you could hit up the regular old science news outlets like Cosmos or ABC (Australia). These are pretty good, insofar as science media goes.

Or, you could hear directly from one of the study’s authors, Martin Burd, who blogs:

In a study of leaf-cutting ants in Central America, published today, Andrew Bruce and I discovered cleared trails become less effective at promoting the flow of resources as ant colonies grow larger. We biologists refer to such patterns as “allometric scaling” – the change in the function of an entity as it changes in size.

The world would be a better place if more scientists followed Burd’s lead and took the time to briefly explain- in simpler terms- why their research matters.

(source: Bruce, A. I., Burd, M. 2012. Allometric scaling of foraging rate with trail dimensions in leaf-cutting ants. Proc Roy Soc B 10.1098/rspb.2011.2583 )

1 thought on “Media coverage versus author commentary”

  1. Words from the actual source of the study are better than words from the press.

    West Nile Virus has reduced corvid populations in Saskatchewan, and made some humans ill.

    Let’s just say that some of us (corvids and humans) are apparently resistant. (Oh look, there was a study that nobody reported!)

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