uni week 09

Managed to dodge the showers for the week. Only rained ‘after’ I had come back from uni.

Today was the day we presented our market research project reports on nanotechnology. We were required to choose one nanotechnology product and design a survey instrument to investigate the public awareness of and attitudes about nanotechnology in medical and cosmetic applications.

After fighting my way through 40+ papers and articles, I decided to investigate nanosomes. Also, since women appeared to be under-represented in previous surveys as to being aware of nanotechnology, I focused my research on women and nanotechnology in the cosmetic industry. My hypothesis was that perhaps the previous studies were framed in a way that were not relevant to women, and that women perhaps did not realise that they used or had used products that contain nanoparticles.

I’ll probably write more about this once I have my bibliography in some semblance of order. I really will have to investigate a software tool to do this for me. Manual referencing is tedious, and almost puts me off study altogether. But one of the more amusing articles that I came across was Alom Shaha on Skincare Myths: Is there truth behind the science used to sell skincare products?

One of the few places we regularly see science on TV these days is in adverts for cosmetics. They’re filled with pretty graphics showing you how the active ingredients work and feature lots of complicated words like “active liposomes” and “boswelox” (which seems to be a word invented solely for the purpose of selling a face cream). I’m a big fan of the L’Oréal adverts: they always have a gorgeous woman, like Rachel from Friends, telling you to pay attention to the “science” and a recent one even had Eva Longoria saying: “I love it when they talk science”. It’s unlikely that Jennifer Aniston or Eva Longoria is ever going to date a physicist, but a boy can dream. Scientific terminology is used extensively to market skincare products but is the science featured in these adverts reliable? Is it worth spending more money on a particular brand of face cream and, as a bloke, should I buy products designed for men?

Interestingly, a couple of weeks ago, L’Oreal Australia launched the For Women in Science programme and scholarships at the recent 5th World Conference of Science Journalists, Melbourne Australia. Unfortunately, like their main flashy site, a lot of the images and usability is broken for me. Even with my latest Flash install. I can see an outline or frame, and the image only fills the bottom half. I’m presuming Australia is on that part of the list I can’t see.

Our next assignment includes documenting our participation in the CRCA Conference 2007. Only Michael and I volunteered for the recording and podcasting role. This requires an extra tutorial session prior to the conference so that we can become familiar with the sound equipment and what is required at conference. Yay, more geeky stuff to play with.

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