Category Archives: science journalism

Nature to launch new ecology and evolution journal

This hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I learned about it last week and it’s not really a secret given that Nature is already advertising for editors (here and here) for a new journal whose description is in the second ad: Nature Ecology and Evolution — the latest member of the Nature family — will […]

Krauss on entanglement

Doesn’t the New Yorker need someone to write about evolution as well as cosmology? Once again, I’m both impressed by and jealous of Lawrence Krauss’s performance at that venue, and this week he writes about the new physics experiment that pretty much verified the idea of quantum entanglement and nonlocality. The piece, “Tangled up in entanglement.” […]

Scientists engage in civil disobedience, share copyrighted papers

I can’t say that I’m encouraging this activity as that would be encouraging scientists to break the law, but I will call your attention to a piece in The Atlantic describing a new development. Scientists, or anyone, can now request paywalled academic papers on Twi**er, and authors or others who have the paper (you surely have to use Twi**er to see the request) […]

Bad science journalism: The Express reports that scientists have “proved” that God didn’t create the universe

I should start giving an award for the Most Misleading Science Journalism of the Year. If I did, this article from The Sunday Express would surely be a contender. Here’s the headline (click on it to go to the article): The piece starts like this: A TEAM of scientists have made what may turn out to be […]

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 […]

Elegance in science and The New Yorker’s take on the field

The short New Yorker piece, by Patrick House, “What is elegance in science?“, bothers me, and for reasons I don’t quite understand. I’d appreciate it if readers could have a look (you can read it in 5 minutes) and weigh in below. What bothers me consciously about the piece is that is basically says nothing, […]

Well-known science publisher Springer retracts 64 papers after discovering fake peer reviews

As every professional academic knows, especially those at “research” universities like mine, publishing research papers is the currency of professional advancement. Teaching and “service” (i.e., being on university committees or editorial boards of journals) will be cursorily scanned when it’s time for tenure or promotion, but we all know that the number of papers in your “publications” […]

Adam Gopnik: Why we should quiz politicians about their views of evolution

In honor of Darwin Day, writer Adam Gopnik penned a piece at the Nov. 19 Daily Comment site at the New Yorker: “The evolution catechism.” It’s about why politicians should be asked what they think about evolution: that is, whether they accept it or not. Some writers have argued that that question should be off limits, for who cares if […]

“Unchanging bacteria” revisited: dreadful science reporting in The Washington Post

It’s a sad situation that the only newspaper in the U.S. that still has a full science section is the New York Times (it’s on Tuesday), and even much of that is devoted to “health”.  Other papers seem to act as “article aggregators,” with poorly-trained science journalists simply accepting a new finding at face value based […]

NPR says that science has a faith problem

Yep, it’s National Public Radio again, and again the cosmos & culture blog, where Marcelo Gleiser, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth, has taken it upon himself to tell us that a). science can go “too far”, and b). it does so when scientists cling to beliefs that are either largely refuted or a bit […]


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