Archives for February, 2006

A belated Darwin Day post

This article appeared in Science last week, regarding evolution (and it’s “challengers”) on college campuses: For decades, polls have indicated that close to half of the U.S. adult population is skeptical of the basic tenets of Darwinian evolution. Although more educated people are more likely to endorse evolution, a college degree is no guarantee that…

I should have known…

So, yesterday morning I had to spend an hour in employee health, having my lungs checked out and my blood banked just in case I end up needing to work in a BSL-3 lab sometime in the future (due to a grant we’re pursuing). Stupid me didn’t realize I’d have to wait so long and…

Bitch PhD has the tie-in.

Lab coat idol

I’ve written before that teaching good science is really my utmost concern. This gets to the heart of the anti-evolution movement, the AIDS denialists, the vaccine/autism “controversy”, the abortion-breast cancer “connection”, and probably a dozen other topics in science that are largely misunderstood by the general public. Having a population better educated in science, who…

Like, gee, 17th Century manuscripts from the Royal Society, written by Robert Hooke? A long-lost 17th century manuscript charting the birth of modern science has been found gathering dust in a cupboard in a Hampshire home. Filled with crabby italics and acerbic asides, the 520 or so yellowing and stained pages are the handwritten minutes…

Happy Darwin Day!

As PZ mentioned, today would be Charles Darwin’s 197th birthday. To celebrate, Mike over at The Questionable Authority is putting together a mini-carnival of posts on evolution. Specifically, he asked how those of us who are scientists use evolutionary theory in our work. Personally, I’m a bit of a hybrid. I’m a microbiologist by training…

Carl Zimmer on Daily Kos

Told you this week’s interview would be a good one. Generally journalists are the ones telling the story, but this week, Carl Zimmer’s in the spotlight, discussing science writing (and blogging), education, transitional fossils, and, of course, parasites. Check it out.

Speaking of AIDS denial…

I was the guest on The Skeptics Guide to the Universe last week, a podcast of the New England Skeptical Society. The main topic of the discussion was HIV denial (specifically focusing on Christine Maggiore’s story), but we also talked about antibiotic resistance (inculding peptide antibiotics) and skepticism in general. The host was Dr. Steven…

About that drop in cancer deaths…

You’ve probably seen this announcment trumpeted somewhere: “Cancer deaths fall for first time.” I just wanted to post a very brief note on this. First, let’s look at their numbers: The number of cancer deaths dropped to 556,902 in 2003, down from 557,271 the year before, according to a recently completed review of U.S. death…

Tom Bethell on AIDS–the breakdown

Chris has been excoriating Tom Bethell (author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science”) over on The Intersection and elsewhere (see, for example, here, here, and several posts here). However, since he’s not yet done a takedown on Bethell’s chaper on AIDS (titled “African AIDS: a Political Epidemic”), he suggested I have a go at…