Category Archives: Science

Trump has yet to name a science advisor

It’s nearly a year since the election, and Trump hasn’t yet appointed a science advisor. Here’s a comparative graph from the Washington Post:   There could be many reasons the appointment is taking so long, said Zuoyue Wang, a historian of science at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. “I believe that several factors are at […]

Two geographers say that academics should stop citing so much work by straight white men

My spirits continue to sink as I see both the Washington Post and the New York Times move toward the Authoritarian wing of Leftism. The latest—and this really hurts—is a piece in the “Speaking of Science” column called “Why these professors are warning against promoting the work of straight, white men“, written by general assignment reporter […]

The anti-science views of third-wave feminists

Because of its connections with postmodernism, third-wave feminism has sometimes shown a disturbing trend of doing down science. That, of course, is because postmodernism rejects objective truth, valuing feelings and “lived experience” over science, which it sees as not only un-objective, but as a tool and embodiment of the patriarchy. This attitude was, of course, […]

Science mnemonics

xkcd has presented some science mnemonics. I haven’t used mnemonics for any of these (I know the planets in order) but I did have my own for taxonomy, “King Put Cats On Fat Granny’s Stoop”.  Some of the ones in the cartoon are unwieldy, but I do like the Katy Perry one, which I might […]

Trump’s budget cuts in science

This is from an email that research administrators at my University sent to our faculty, academic appointees, and staff a short while ago; I offer it to show you what the Trump administration is doing to research in this country (emphasis is mine): On May 23, the Trump Administration released its detailed budget proposal for […]

Can science prove things to be false?

We hear this all the time: “Science can’t prove anything to be true, as there’s always a possibility that we’ve made a mistake or that there are other data that we don’t yet know, so all things that science says are “true” are provisional. But science can prove things to be false!” When thinking about […]

A successful cat experiment—and a failure

Last Caturday, I put up an item about some cats having a propensity to enter and sit in squares of tape on the floor. I also urged readers to try it. What do you have to lose besides a bit of tape? Anyway, three readers tried it: one failed utterly, one succeeded, but only when […]

Krauss’s two articles on the Science March

As I’ve said repeatedly, I’ve been conflicted about participating in the March for Science, and have explained why I decided not to participate—but why I don’t discourage others from doing so. I wish them well, and hope that they effect some change. In the meantime, physicist Lawrence Krauss has published two simultaneous pieces on today’s […]

Your host on NPR San Francisco tomorrow; topic is the Science March

Tomorrow I’ll be on KQED, San Francisco’s National Public Radio station, between 9 and 10 a.m. Pacific Time (inclusive, so I’m told), discussing the Science March on the “Forum” show. I’m told that for the first half hour I’ll be conversing with Ken Caldeira (an ecologist and environmental scientist at the Carnegie Institution), one of the organizers of the […]

The Regressive left and the Science March

What I thought was a fairly innocuous post about why I wasn’t participating in the Science March—but also didn’t discourage others from participating (mine was a personal decision that I didn’t want to foist on others)—turned out to inspire a lot of good discussion about what such a march should be, but also a fair amount […]