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John Mashey made a comment over at Deltoid that was so incisive, Tim Lambert decided to turn it into a post of its own. In the comment/post, Mashey outlines several steps scientists can take to pressure reporters to do a better job reporting science. Indeed, the list is a little daunting. Among other things, he…

Is (are) data singular?

To me, few things are more annoying than someone who nitpicks about grammar. Grammar is important, to be sure, but how much does it really matter if your sentences are grammatically “correct,” as long as your message is communicated clearly? Michael Bach recently emailed me lamenting that often reviewers comment that “the English could be…

Apropos of the Chess/AI discussion that’s going on on the front page of ScienceBlogs today (and here at CogDaily), I noticed this little gem in a book I’m currently reading for a review (Sandra and Michael Blakeslee’s The Body Has a Mind of Its Own): Meaning is rooted in agency (the ability to act and…

The blogosphere is abuzz with reports about a new initiative by commercial scholarly publishers to discredit the open access movement. Prism describes itself as an organization to “protect the quality of scientific research”, which it hopes to do by opposing policies “that threaten to introduce undue government intervention in science and scholarly publishing.” What policies…

It’s been a decade since world chess champion Garry Kasparov was first defeated by a computer. Since then, even after humans retooled their games to match computers, computers have managed draws against the world’s greatest players. It seems only a matter of time before computers will win every time — if humans are willing to…

Eric Schwitzgebel has been doing a lot of thinking about the relationship between thinking about ethical behavior and actually behaving ethically. In his most recent post, he takes on a meta-analysis claiming that religious belief correlates negatively with criminal activity: I found a 2001 “meta-analysis” (Baier & Wright) of the literature that shows all the…

Let’s suppose you’re the proprietor of a European tourist attraction. We’re not talking about a Louvre or Uffizi here, or even a Leaning Tower of Pisa. No, you’re in charge of a hidden gem: the scenic Church of the Saint No One Has Ever Heard Of, or the lovely little Museum of the Famous Artist…

Euro-update 2: Is science art?

We’ve spent an exciting week in Paris, seeing all the fabulous sites, from the Louvre to the Tour Eiffel. Today we decided to do something different and headed for the Georges Pompidou Center, where the national galleries of modern art are housed. Some fascinating stuff there, including some works which attempted to question the very…

How NOT to write a science book

These days, it seems like everyone’s got a science book. Not a small number of them end up on my desk — apparently Cognitive Daily is “important” enough that publicists feel a review from us is worth the cost of printing and mailing me a book. But just because they send me the book doesn’t…

The debate about Chris Mooney and Matthew Nisbet’s recent Science article has gotten quite contentious. Nisbet and Mooney contend that if scientists hope to persuade the public to value science, they must take heed of recent research on “framing.” In other words, they claim, scientists are failing at presenting their message effectively. So what exactly…