Archives for July, 2007

Countdown to YearlyKos

Busy week for me. I’m preparing a talk for a conference next month with the longest title ever: The International Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to Man. (Basically, a conference on zoonotic disease.) I’ll be speaking about my research on Streptococcus suis, and hopefully meeting many other colleagues during the conference. More immediately, however,…

The Danica McKellar posts (review; interview) have sparked some discussion that I want to address here. It largely centers on the issue of McKellar’s approach: is it a good one? Or is it trying to replace one Bad Thing (girls’ dislike of math) with another Bad Thing (encouraging them to be, as one commenter put…

XDR-TB has been in the news quite a bit lately, largely thanks to Andrew Speaker’s notoriety. Even though his TB was later re-classified as “just” multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) instead of the initial extremely drug resistant (XDR) type, it did serve to raise awareness about the issues public health authorities face when dealing with something like…

Just a quick post from the “weird happenings in Iowa” file: Mysterious chunks of ice pelt Iowa town. DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Large chunks of ice, one of them reportedly about 50 pounds, fell from the sky in this northeast Iowa city, smashing through a woman’s roof and tearing through nearby trees. Authorities were unsure…

In terms of physical size, microbiologist Rita Colwell is a petitie woman. However, her distinguished research and service career has made her a giant in her field. Her research revolves around many aspects of water ecology, including the intersection of the environment and infectious disease (as I wrote about here following a talk she gave…

Yesterday I reviewed Danica McKellar’s forthcoming book, Math Doesn’t Suck. When I contacted the book’s publicist about receiving a review copy, I also inquired about an interview with Danica, and she graciously agreed. Perhaps this will cover some topics brought up in the comments section of my book review as well, as she discusses her…

It’s not a rosy picture for girls in math. As Barbie infamously framed it, girls should think that “math is hard.” While Mattel (rightly) received a lot of flack for that comment, the sad fact is that Barbie was reflecting the attitude many girls tend to take toward mathematics education: it’s difficult, it’s boring, and…

Tripoli Six–home and free

After 8 1/2 years of imprisonment, torture in jail, and a death sentence hanging over their heads, the Tripoli Six (collected links) are back home, and have been granted pardons from the Bulgarian president. Revere, again, has the details; more at the BBC and New York Times. Many kudos go out to both Revere and…

Scienceblogs gets another infusion of public health goodness with its latest addition, The Angry Toxicologist. It looks like a great start, with posts on vaccines and autism, restless leg syndrome and balancing your chi (quote: “Oooo, scientificy!”) Welcome aboard!

A looong time ago, I mentioned that I spent St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, at a symposium I helped to plan (but neglected to blog! Oops). Along with other scientists, theologians, philosophers, and generally interested persons, we worked for a bit over a year to put this symposium together. Why?…