I have endless admiration for the way the scientific community has gone all out to build awareness of its work and the issues it feels the public should know and care about.
Often this has been through a mutually beneficial relationship with the media. Many years ago I went to the talkfest that launched the New Zealand Humanities Council, and the only thing I remember from that day was Russell Brown saying that the arts and humanities could do a lot worse than to look to the example of the scientists when it came to building useful relationships with the media. Take for example the Royal Society of NZ's collaborations with Radio New Zealand and the Science Media Centre, a web service connecting journalists with scientific spokespeople. Otago Uni even has a masters degree in science communication.
Some of my favourite science communicators include Luca Turin and Atul Gawande, and I've blogged before about my love for these annual science writing anthologies.
Over the weekend I found a new intellectual crush: particle physicist Dr Brian Cox. As a member of the team working on the Large Hadron Collider, which goes live in a matter of days, he's been all over the media, including this interview with Kim Hill on Saturday. He's an immensely talented communicator, and I have to say, it doesn't hurt that he is also very easy on the eye.