Category Archives: Science

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) […]

Brain Pickings’ choice of best science books of 2016

The good news is that somebody’s put together a list of “The greatest science books of 2016.” The bad news is that it’s Maria Popova of Brain Pickings.  Don’t get me wrong: her suggestions seem pretty good, comporting with what I’ve heard about the books—or, in the case of Sean Carroll’s book, with what I’ve […]

If scientists had logos

Reader Robin sent this, which I see is available all over the Internet. It’s sort of cool, and so we’ll end the day with this. I like Newton’s, Gödel’s, Feynman’s, and Einstein’s. But Watson and Crick, as well as Jane Goodall, are kind of a stretch. And I suppose someone will point out that “Darwin” […]

Suggest some science questions to ask the Presidential candidates

A consortium of high-class science organizations, including those on the screenshot below, are asking for citizens to suggest science questions that can be put to the Presidential candidates. Click on the screenshot to go the pages, where you can both suggest questions or vote on the many already suggested. Some are good (“How do you […]

Open thread: podcast-y goodness

by Grania It’s a cold grey day in Ireland, so an excellent way to spend the afternoon is curled up in your favorite armchair with a mug of coffee listening to podcast or two. I’ve put together a list in no particular order of some of the ones I dip into. Brady Haran: Numberphile – 10 minutes […]

Is falsifiability essential to science?

The two articles I want to discuss today are fascinating, for they raise a problem that’s now vexing many scientists (especially physicists)—the problem of testability. (Thanks to reader Mark H. for calling my attention to them.) It all goes back to the philosopher Karl Popper (1902-1994). Popper’s views about what made a theory “scientific” were immensely influential. They’re summed […]