Category Archives: science education

Lego Beagle/Darwin project reaches its goal

On February 8 I asked readers to support Luis Peña’s Lego HMS Beagle Project, in which he designed a Beagle-building kit, complete with Darwin, Fitzroy, and animals, using more than 2000 Lego pieces. At that time there were only about a thousand supporters, but I’m happy to report that as of today, Luis’s idea has broken […]

Editors, mad as hell, resign en masse from Elsevier journal over price gouging

I’ve long complained about the Dutch publisher Elsevier’s price-gouging behavior, involving exorbitant costs for academic libraries to get its journals (either hard-copy or electronic), its blocking of public access to scholarly articles (often funded by the public), and its “bundling” policies, forcing libraries to subscribe to groups of journals, often at very high costs (my […]

Your essential evolution library

by Greg Mayer I frequently teach evolutionary biology in the spring semester, but for various reasons I will not be teaching it this coming spring. A few days ago, a student who wanted to take the course, but now couldn’t, asked what he could read in lieu of taking it. We discussed some suggestions, and […]

Worries grow about repeatability of scientific studies

At the beginning of September I wrote about a paper in Science produced by a large group called “The Open Science Collaboration.” That paper reported the repeatability of 100 papers whose results were published in three prestigious psychology journals. My brief summary of the conclusions is below, though my original post gave a lot more data: Only 35 of the […]

Canadian human biology textbook flirts with creationism

A reader reported to me that this book, which came out in Canada on February 6, contains at least a bit of dicey material about evolution. The material comes uncomfortably close to certain tropes of creationism. The book’s Amazon description is below the cover picture: “The only title written for Canadian pre-health courses, Human Biology, Anatomy, […]

Lecture music

by Matthew Cobb I was reading the Times Higher Education this morning, and my attention was drawn to a set of articles about how to deal with sullen students. One suggestion, from Tara Brabazon, caught my eye as I had a 10 o’clock lecture this morning. I tw**ted: Hmm. Should I try this with 500 first […]

Ben Carson admits climate change (i.e., it might be cooler tomorrow than today), and some “microevolution”

I am growing weary of pointing out the stupid things said by Republicans and creationists (there’s considerable overlap), which is like crying, “Look, that lion ate a gazelle!” One gets to a point where it’s neither new nor interesting. But in the interest of documenting the scientific missteps of Presidential candidates, especially when it comes to evolution, I submit […]

On the sexualization of selling science

This is a hard post to write, but I wanted to put some thoughts out there, and, more important, get the readers’ take on this issue. It’s about using sex to sell science. And I refer to science websites that have banners or photos like this (click on the banners to go to the sites): Clearly, these are […]

Two debunkings of widespread woo: Ouija boards and homeopathy

Here are two nice videos that constitute empirical tests of the efficacy of woo. The Ouija board study, presented by National Geographic, is a nice example of how a simple experiment, using only blindfolds, can completely trash a widespread (but not very harmful) form of woo. And from, we have a video in which “Scibabe” tests […]

It’s time to stop blaming scientists for Americans’ opposition to science

From January’s National Geographic we have an article and a figure showing the disagreement between scientists and laypeople (U.S. adults) on a number of contentious topics related to science. The data come from two polls that surveyed 2,002 U.S. adults and 3,748 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), asking them, as the article […]


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