The Frontal Cortex

Archives for June, 2006

Biology, Fetuses and Politics

One of my best friends just had his first kid. I’m almost 25, and there’s something strange about seeing a person you usually associate with beer and baseball cradling his infant. It sets of all sorts of hormonal switches. Instead of thinking about Deadwood, Proust and the Red Sox (my usual stream of consciousness), I’ve…

My Immoral Research Proposal

I got a very thoughtful email from a former colleague of mine (he’s still a neuroscientist), who wondered why I would invest in scientific research for drug addicts over those with mental illness. After all, schizophrenics didn’t commit a crime; they just inherited a flawed cortex. Why not first invest in cures for patients who…

Earthquakes in Stockholm?

Sharon Begley of The Wall Street Journal is one of the finest science reporters around. Her Friday column was typically interesting. It’s about how global warming might lead to increased tectonic and volcanic activity: One cubic meter of ice weighs just over a ton, and glaciers can be hundreds of meters thick. When they melt…

Cure Drug Addiction

This week’s question is what scientific field I would study, “if time and money were not obstacles.” Since I’m not a real scientist – just a science writer – I’m not quite sure how to answer this. I worked for several years in a neuroscience lab, and if I hadn’t studied neuroscience I probably would…

Gay Mountain Sheep

Apparently, homosexuality is a sensitive subject. Ever since Seed posted my article on Joan Roughgarden earlier this week, I’ve gotten numerous emails informing of all the reasons why I’m “scientifically wrong” and “morally repugnant.” I’ve even been accused of furthering the interests of Sodom. But one email piqued my interest. Mr. X informed me that…

My Awkward Introduction

Writing the first line of your first blog is even harder than starting to write a book. Blogging is an instantaneous conversation, and nobody wants to begin a conversation with a bad beginning. (Plus, you can always change the first line of your book, at least until it’s published, and that takes forever.) So I’m…