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    Hi Steven. We decided to remove your paragraph about VX from the novichok story, as not to confuse people with it being equivalent to novichok. But we were wondering what it was that you wanted to see in the story? Thanks

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      The only reason for mentioning VX was to make the assumption (as we have no other facts) that the Novichok was a similarly relatively non-volatile, relatively tough oil which can be transferred and survive longer than might be expected.

      And the only reason for adding the paragraph was that Fiona had asked me to add my insights (I’m a PhD chemist) to the article.

      As you can see in my reply to Fiona, I don’t think the article needs anything and indeed is over-long when there’s really nothing very interesting to say beyond the basics.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Interesting question. I’m travelling on business and had generally ignored the story. But I’ll have a dig around to see if there is anything scientific that makes any sense!

    Steven

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        The Wikipedia article tells us more than any of us need to know about the zillion Novichoks. Given that they can be solids, liquids or gases tells us nothing useful about this incident. The details of the story and the technology behind it strike me as largely uninteresting. The acres of press coverage have added roughly nothing to “Russian ex-spy poisoned with Russian chemical plus some unfortunate collateral damage to others”. We knew that many days ago (OK, with less certainty about the 2nd “Russian”). So what is Wikitribune trying to add to that? We can all speculate that the UK’s response will be too soft or too hard, but that doesn’t help. If the current article were 1/10 its current size, I’m not sure that we’d be any worse off.
        I guess I’m saying that Wikitribune might have to find a way of making its response proportional to the real story rather than proportional to our natural tendency to get excited by rare events.

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          You are welcome to cut it or change anything Steven but our judgment is that it is worth knowing exactly how it is spread and so on. If you recall the Litvinenko case the polonium was spread around the city and on the aircraft. If you want to bring your specialist knowledge to this and improve our understanding of what is going, please do.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Interesting question. I’m travelling on business and had generally ignored the story. But I’ll have a dig around to see if there is anything scientific that makes any sense!

    Steven

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    Hi Steven. We’re currently looking to cover the Russian double agent who has become ill after being exposed to an unknown substance. Given your expertise, is there anything you could help our editors/journalists with around this story?

    Hope you’re having a good day!

    – your friendly community manager

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Steve, I am just doing some work on the oceans story. Do you have specific professional expertise in this area?

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      I’m merely a PhD scientist (chemist) who likes applying basic logic to emotive topics such as the ocean plastics and (prompted by the controversial news about the EU re-licensing glyphosate) worries about carcinogens. I don’t know if you (or anyone) has spotted that story which will quickly lose its relevance.

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        Yes, we are working on it. Thanks. It’d be good if you’d be kind enough to add that experience to your profile since I realise I’m not the first to ask. Thanks.

        1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

          Sorry! I was so terrified of WT when I first registered that I didn’t fill in the details. Now fixed

          1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

            Great. I appreciate it. Thank you.

  6. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I’m just a guy who works at home and who very rarely uses a cab. I have zero specialist knowledge about cabs. My interest is more in the idea of using the stakeholder approach as a routine tool within WT. The idea happened to have evolved from the Talk on the Black Cab article and crucially, it was not my idea. Because it seemed a good idea in general, and because no one else was standing around wanting to run with it, totally against my expectations I found myself writing it. Somehow the article, if it ever makes it into real life, needs some involvement with, or approval of the guy whose idea it was. I’ll head next for your edited version and see if it’s now obvious how to involve others.

    Thanks for even reading it, let alone editing it!

  7. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your submission, which I have edited. I wondered if you could clarify your involvement – do you work for a taxi firm, or own one? If so, can you explain that somewhere near the start of your piece? Thanks.

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