Category Archives: Science

On the March for Science, with added Professor Ceiling Cat (Emeritus)

Today National Public Radio, on its “Morning Edition Show,” had a four-minute piece on the April 22 March for Science scheduled in Washington, D. C. You can hear the piece and read the transcript here (it was written by Nell Greenfield). The piece was pretty even-handed, quoting both advocates and critics. I suppose I’m largely on […]

A new Field Museum video on non-alternative fact

This new short video, including several of my colleagues at Chicago’s Field Museum, shows scientists at the Museum standing up for the facts about ecology and evolution. I like that, and I also like the absence of anything overtly political. But of course we all know why this was made: it is a political video made in reaction to the […]

New Scientist piece on the Science March (with PCC[E])

A few days ago I expressed some doubt about the effectiveness of the March for Science, now scheduled for April 22 (Earth Day) in Washington D.C. I was worried mostly about dividing both scientists and the public by over-politicization of the march based on identity politics. This was expressed on the march organizers’ social media emissions, […]

The vastness of the Universe and the emptiness of the Innerverse

Matthew Cobb sent me this lovely video showing a camera pulling out from a view of a person at the Google complex to the limits of the Universe, and then reversing that. But it goes even farther in, going into the person on ever-smaller scales winding up with a quark.  This should be a cause for […]

Rogue Twitter accounts purportedly created by disaffected science agencies

After Tr*mp ordered various science-related Federal agencies to undergo a social media blackout a few days ago (and forced the “rogue” Badlands National Park account, which was tweeting out climate-change announcements, to withdraw its facts), various other rogue accounts have sprung up.  Now many or most of these may be bogus, not having anything to do […]

A monument to lab mice

This photo, from a site apparently called 9gag, is labeled as “In Novosibirsk there is a monument to all the lab mice who lost their lives in DNA research”.   h/t: Arno M.

2017 Edge Question: “What scientific term or concept should be more widely known?”

UPDATE: I should have asked readers to answer the question for themselves, so I’m adding that here. Several people already have done that, and I encourage it. __________ Every year, science-book agent John Brockman, who handles the “trade books” of every well known science writers, as well as running the online intellectual “salon” Edge, asks his […]

Why do some scientists always claim that evolutionary biology needs urgent and serious reform?

UPDATE: I forgot to add this bit from Welch’s paper about the John Templeton Foundation: It is remarkable, for example, that much of the funding for challenging current practice in evolutionary biology comes from The John Templeton Foundation (Pennisi 2016), which is committed to using science to reveal underlying purpose, and rejecting what Nagel (2012) […]

Krauss on Trump’s anti-science cabinet (and on Rick Perry as Energy Secretary)

Physicist Lawrence Krauss, always a writer, has now in the Age of Trump become a pro-science activist as well. Wearing that hat, he published two articles just yesterday, one in the New Yorker and the other in the New York Times, both about Trump’s missteps in choosing his cabinet.  The New Yorker piece, “Donald Trump’s war […]

Guardian asks scientists to choose their best reads of the year

I’ve already mentioned somewhere that the New York Times‘s list of 2016’s 100 notable books had about 2 or 3 science books, and its shortened list of the 10 best books had no science books. Given the “two cultures”, one would expect more. Our own Matthew Cobb noticed the same issue with the Guardian’s 110-best list (chosen by writers) […]