Category Archives: science journalism

New Twitter account flags article on research conducted in mice but implied to be in humans

We all know how bad popular science reporting has become, and here’s yet more evidence. This new Twitter account, justsaysinmice, is useful as it indicts not scientific studies but journalists who report scientific studies in mice as if their results were in humans. It’s not just that they say “this could apply to humans”, but […]

The BBC unwisely jumps on the epigenetics bandwagon

About two weeks ago,  the BBC’s “Future” website published a long science article touting the importance of epigenetic effects in humans: the idea that various behaviors, traumas, and psychological propensities produced by the environment on parents can be transmitted to their offspring. This is supposed to act in a “Lamarckian” way: the environment modifies the […]

Five Books: Adam Hart-Davis’s choice of the best books on popular science

Adam Hart-Davis is an English writer, photographer, and broadcaster, known for being the presenter of several popular BBC series. In a Five Books piece (click on screenshot below), Hart-Davis lists and discusses what he sees as the five best popular-science books. According to the site, “Adam Hart-Davis says clear simple writing is the key to […]

Science magazine conflates social movements with scientific breakthroughs

Reader Bryan called my attention to Science magazine’s contest in which readers can vote for the scientific breakthroughs of the year. As the site says (click on screenshot below): It’s that time of the year again: Science’s reporters and editors are homing in on the Breakthrough of the Year, our choice of the most significant scientific […]

The Left eats its own: The New Yorker criticizes Elizabeth Warren for checking her ancestry, asserts that idea of biological differences among people is “pernicious”

The more I read the New Yorker, the more I realize two things. First, it’s rapidly become a sophisticated version of HuffPo, a liberal magazine marinated in Authoritarian Leftism. That became palpably clear when the editor, David Remnick, who was scheduled to interview Steve Bannon onstage at this month’s New Yorker Festival, disinvited Bannon. (Several […]

Another uncritical review of David Quammen’s new book

David Quammen, an acclaimed science writer, recently published the book below (click on screenshot to go to Amazon site). It’s basically a three-part book, dealing with Carl Woese and his discovery of the Archaea, a major branch of life; telling the story of Lynn Margulis and her revival of the theories that mitochondria and chloroplasts, […]

NYT article on duck hearing

This New York Times Science article discusses recent work on duck hearing, research done with the aim of creating underwater signals to keep diving ducks away from fishing nets. (The problem is that the range of duck hearing overlaps that of fish.) Click on the screenshot to read the article, but be SURE to watch […]

The media bollocksed up a science story

I think people have seen on this site the way that the media has distorted the scientific data on epigenetics, with newspapers and popular books implying that adaptive environmental modification of an organism can be inherited, which constitutes a revolution in the way we think about evolution. Well, were that true it would be a […]

Octopuses as aliens from another planet?

Reader Tim sent me a link to this article from the Daily Express, which I don’t read but suppose, from this one article, is about as credible as The Sun or other British tabloids purveying fake stories. Click on screenshot to see the article.  I’ll make this into an exercise in which readers can tell […]

Claire Lehmann and Debra Soh dismantle John Horgan’s indictment of sexism in science

The mandatory disclaimer first: I’m not claiming that science is free of sexism. No area in which men labor is, since there are always some sexist men. I would argue, though, that we’re doing our best to free the discipline of sexism (most hiring committees, for example,  have a keen look-out for women candidates, and […]