Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Welcome

I'm a science journalist, living and working from my home in Pemberton, BC, Canada.

My academic background is in chemistry and oceanography, but I have written across all the physical sciences, from anthropology to quantum physics, with climate change and the environment in between. Click here for a list of my most recent work in Nature, Yale E360, Hakai magazine, the Pique newspaper, and SAPIENS.

Browse the site to find out more about my work as reporter, editor and teacher, and be in touch: nkjones(at)gmail.com

TED, 2019: The dangers of a noisy ocean
I post a selection of my favourite articles here as they are released, with some back story.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Noise updates

The pandemic is making our noisy planet quieter for a while... and here's some more notes about that (not written by me).

This paper shows that mankind's vibrations, from traffic to football games, has declined by as much as 50% in some spots from January to May:

And this report looks at the net impacts of the pandemic, from a reduction in ocean noise to an increase in disposable single-use plastics, on marine life:



Tuesday, July 21, 2020

How my TED talk collided with the pandemic

It has been exactly a year since I stood on stage in Edinburgh to give my TED talk. That talk, on ocean noise pollution, was released on 11 March 2020--the day the WHO declared a pandemic. Back then, this seemed like unfortunate timing. But now the two topics have collided.

Read my essay on Medium.

Monday, June 15, 2020

How STRANGE are your animals?

Happy to have helped edit this fascinating piece on bias in animal behaviour studies, in Nature today:
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01751-5

Ten years ago, researchers noted that social psychology experiments don't really tell us how people behave; they tell us how Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) people behave, because the vast majority of these studies have been done on WEIRD people from US universities.

Now a different set of researchers are highlighting the same problems in animal studies: the animals used in many such studies are STRANGE (see the full piece to get the acronym spelled out). Honeybees learn better in the morning, so how well they do depends on when you test them; pheasants, monkeys, mice, fish and crows may behave differently depending on their genetics, how they were raised, and even their personality (bolder animals may select themselves for study by stepping into traps or into experimental zones).

So... animal researchers: check your animals for strangeness before publishing your results.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

SAVE THE PANGOLIN

My daughter (aged 7) wanted to write an article with me this morning about the poor pangolin. Here it is!


SAVE  THE  PANGOLIN
By Freya Miller and Nicola Jones
14 June 2020

The pangolin is a very endangered species. It lives in forests and rain forests and deserts. And in China. They are all endangered.

People poach pangolins for medicine even though it’s not proven medicine. It might not make you better. It might make you worse.

Good news! Last week, China removed pangolin scales from its list of traditional medicines.