Politics

Category archives for Politics

The Eeyores of Academia

“The wonderful thing about Tiggers Is Tiggers are wonderful things…” Tigger was my favourite on the Hundred Acre Campus. “…bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!” Recently I was at a meeting, and a comment was made about how someone was being negative. Not only was this a bit of a bummer, total…

Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious ship which will peer far and wide… The European Space Agency is being very sensible and mapping out its schedule for large and medium science missions for the medium term, under the Cosmic Vision program. In particular, the first of the large missions, L1, has been chosen and…

Bolden Responds

“Text of Bolden Response to Wolf Letter Re Chinese Participation in Kepler Conference” – from spacepolicyonline.com >From: Bolden, Charles (HQ-AA000) >Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:20 PM Central Standard Time >To: >Cc: >Subject: Response to Chairman Wolf “It is unfortunate that potential Chinese participants were refused attendance at the upcoming Kepler Conference at the Ames…

The Lights Are Going Out…

When it is darkest, men see the stars. This afternoon I needed to check something urgently, and as is my habit in this day and age, I jumped to a website where I knew the information was available. A few seconds later, with some irritation I went to hit “refresh” as the request failed to…

Cargo Cult Administration

Many physical scientists learned of the curious phenomena of the Cargo Cult from Feynman’s commencement address at Caltech, as reproduced in his book, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!”. In the address, Feynman cautions us against the conceptually similar notion of Cargo Cult Science, where people go through the motions of mimicking a scientific process, while…

Cyber Wars: liveblog

Ok, straight from cosmology to cybersecurity: the Aspen Institute is running an “Aspen Security Forum” with several days of events. Tonight General Keith Alexander, head of the NSA is doing a forum with NBC’s Pete Williams. I got a ticket and got here early, as the heavens opened up and the lightning flashed. Despite the…

A Champion of Change

Earlier this month I got an invitation to the White House. It was rather cryptic, asking me to attend an Event, today, followed by a reception in the Indian Treaty Room Regrettably, I had to decline, I was in Europe, and would only just be getting back. The logistics of getting to DC in time…

Over the next 10 years, what research done on bodies within our Solar System (measurements and theory) will be most important for informing our search for life beyond the Earth? This is the current topic posed as the Single Question on the Future of Astrobiology at the ongoing NASA Astrobiology Institute Roadmap online exercise. If…

The final session in the online discussion of the NASA Astrobiology Roadmap is today from 4-5 pm eastern. Go to Astrobiology Future to sign in to the live web chat. Questions and comments will be taken both from call-ins and from written questions. The online discussion will be moderated by Dr Francis McCubbin from UNM,…

Astrobiology Future The NASA online discussion session on the Astrobiology Roadmap continues this week. This morning there was a web chat on “Early Evolution of Life and the Biosphere”, which is being followed up by an ongoing online discussion on the questions posed and soliciting ideas for priorities in research direction. The questions being discussed…