*collapses in a pile of giggles*

If you dont want to read more blag drama, move along. This post is strictly for the lulz.

Chris Mooney is Not My Friend Anymore

In addition, Mooney and Kirshenbaum offer no practical suggestions for how to acquire the target audience. People with no interest in science will not tune in to Science Idol on Fox, even if Fox were to pick up such a show.

After I read the article, I posted the following comment on Chris’s Facebook profile link to the article:

I must say, I am very disappointed and somewhat insulted. Blaming scientists for scientific illiteracy is like blaming doctors for disease.

And your solution is that scientists spend their time making the talk show circuit instead of doing their work.

Brilliant.

A bit snarky, I admit, but this is a personal conversation and I was pretty angry.

Following another comment which blamed education, I posted a more critical comment:

IMO, JOURNALISTS do more damage to science literacy in this country than anyone else.

I do not believe this comment is unfair. Not only did Mooney and Kirshenbaum blame my profession for the problem, but they presented no evidence to support their claim. I, on the other hand, can cite hundreds of examples of bad reporting which can and have led to persistent myth and ignorance.

In addition, I left a comment on the Boston Globe site. Perhaps this was the tipping point for him. When I returned to Facebook the following evening (last night), I found notifications that others had commented on the link which started it all, but I could not access them or the thread.

Chris Mooney “defriended” me!

What’s more, he did so without responding to my comments and ensured I could make no more on that thread.

On the one hand, this was Chris’s personal profile. On the other hand, he opened the discussion by posting the link and if he did not want to discuss professional matters in personal space…

I have gotten into some pretty heated discussions with friends on Facebook. None have resulted in cut ties. The only incident of “defriending” on my part involved someone I could only call a spammer who, IMO, misrepresented themselves. I did nothing of the sort with Mooney. I have been nothing but supportive until now. So, either he does not like criticism, or he does not want it to influence his book sales which might ensue from his personal relationships on Facebook.

If you dont like ‘Unscientific America’, you cant be Mooneys friend on Facebook.

Pffffft… hehe… HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hes so MATURE! **SWOON** AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! WHAT A TOOL!!! LOSER!! LOOOOSER!!!

But wait! Theres more! You see, Barbara Drescher, like me, only has a problem with Mooney because he is a TRAITOR to the CAUSE! How DARE he offend our LORD and SAVIOR PZ!!!

Drescher– I am dumbfounded by this article. I once thought you were brilliant and I think the book has a few gems in it despite 2 glaringly BAD chapters, but this is WAY OFF. It’s also insulting & arrogant.

You think that the reason Americans are generally scientifically illiterate is because scientists do not hire PR people and act like celebrities?

There are many factors responsible for it:
- lack of interest
- poor critical thinking skills
- lack of education
- entrenched beliefs which are threatened by scientific findings
- people like you. Perhaps you have not misquoted or misrepresented research yourself (I really don’t know), but 75% of science that is reported in the media is misrepresented, misinterpreted, and otherwise mangled by “science journalists”. They misquote scientists and spin research to create angles they think readers want.

I am also unhappy with the way you tossed in the NSF-IGERT program as if it has ANYTHING to do with your point. I was an IGERT fellow myself, and I can tell you that scientific literacy is NOT the goal of the program. Students in PhD programs KNOW THEIR SCIENCE ALREADY. The program is designed to provide training in research which emphasizes interdisciplinary work. It is not an “outreach” program and it does not train scientist in “talking to the public”.

Telling people how science affects them personally – isn’t that YOUR job? The jobs of TEACHERS? (not all scientists teach)

If people are intimidated by scientists, that’s THEIR hang-up. Most scientists are VERY approachable, many DO open their labs to the public, volunteer for outreach, give talks open to the public, etc. If that’s not good enough for you, tough. Scientists are pretty busy already – DOING SCIENCE.

Someone stupid enough to be commenting on Intersection– “despite 2 glaringly BAD chapters”

Gee, I wonder what two chapters those could be? I realize you’re quoting someone else, but you quoted them.

You know, I don’t have a problem with people who are fans of something. But just come out and say it, OK? It means you’re biased in favor of something and that’s fine.

HAHAHA! Cause you know, if youre criticizing Mooney, its because youre an atheist and PZs pit bull. Oh wait:

I wrote that and it’s pretty arrogant of you to assume that I’m a “PZ fan” simply because I had serious problems with the same number of chapters.

FYI, one of them was need “The internet won’t save us”, but the other was NOT the religion chapter. I don’t give a rat’s tail about whether or not PZ is insulted. He put it out there and, from what I can tell, he can handle the heat. Yes, I read his blog – about 25% of it. If that is what “fan” means, so be it.

The other chapter I disliked intensely was “Why Pluto Matters” because in it the authors give the distinct impression (in fact, they pretty much state it outright) that science and scientists should consider the public’s feelings when deciding matters of science.

Scientists should not even consider THEIR OWN feelings. That’s WHY they use SCIENCE.

And I also don’t give a rat’s tail if you don’t like my use of capital letters for emphasis.

By the way, science literacy in this country is going UP, not down. And you can present statistics to support the opposite if you feel compelled; I won’t bother to pick them apart. It’s not that important of a point. I completely agree that it should be rising at a much higher rate than it is and it is far too low for my comfort level. However, scientists not being “sexy” is NOT the problem.

No, the scientifically illiterate are not just a bunch of stupid people, but intelligence is not the only factor in critical thinking ability. We still need to look more closely at EDUCATION – at the elementary level.

Welp. Now you gone and done it, Dresher. Took me years to do what you just done. Now youre gonna get your very own hit-piece by one of SciBlogs resident Anons. Especially because you are a misogynistic woomyn hater too.

Sorry, Mrs. Drescher. You should have known not to mess with teh Mooney. He has nice hair. And you dont MESS with people with nice hair.

Comments

  1. #1 Optimus Primate
    July 28, 2009

    For fuck’s sake.

    It’s an interesting thing, watching a career self-destruct. Because, at this point, I honestly have no idea how Moonbat plans to do any further science journalism. Actual journalism, I mean. Surely from here on our he’ll be reduced to writing puffed up opinion pieces, right? I mean, what scientist would stoop to having any sort of real dialogue with him after all of this?

    This pushes me one step closer to my much-thought-about career change. Somebody needs to give science journalism a good name again.

  2. #2 D. C. Sessions
    July 29, 2009

    It’s an interesting thing, watching a career self-destruct. Because, at this point, I honestly have no idea how Moonbat plans to do any further science journalism.

    Didn’t I read somewhere that Fox News has an opening for a science reporter?

  3. #3 JRQ
    July 29, 2009

    Well, I read the book, and it really was as superficial, sloppy, and unhelpful as everyone has been saying. It’s also a grand exercise in projection:

    “Journalists are failing at science communication, therefore its everybody else’s fault….but, for reasons we can’t support with evidence, we shouldn’t piss off the religious public….so in reality its the new atheists’ fault. And someone’s gotta turn all those new Ph.D.s into “communicators”, only we don’t know quite how to do it, so doctoral training programs need to figure that out. Ok, got it? So now go buy our book.” [grin]

  4. #4 Lee Harrison
    July 29, 2009

    Wow. Just wow.

    You tagged this post perfectly, Abbie – douchebaggery, complete, utter, total douchebaggery. The old Mooney, the one with balls who didn’t need to misrepresent his opponents – the Mooney before Nisbett got to him – is completely lost. His career is swirling through the U-bend as he watches and he’s too damn stupid to notice.

    Faux news is all that’s left for him.

  5. #5 Aaron
    July 29, 2009

    You know, I’ve been following TEH GEORGE WILL DRAMAZ on The Loom for a while, and I can’t help but feel like Mooney is responding in a similar way that Will did: Completely ignoring any remote possibility that perhaps he was wrong or made poor arguments, but rather continue to repeat himself over and over, hoping that his opponent’s will tire.

    It’s the same strategy the creationists use. Ugh.

    You want to see the reason why we have scientific illiteracy in this country? It’s because of attitudes like THAT. Criticism may sting occasionally, but so does H2O2 on a dirty wound — tough shit. Deal with it and get better.

  6. #6 J Todd DeShong
    July 29, 2009

    Yeah, you warned me. You wrote that if I did not want to read more blag drama to look away. However, like a bad wreck, I did not. Also, your warning was not dire enogh. You should have written: If you do not want to read about (me) ERV and others you (Todd) admired for their thoughtful, insightful, somewhat insolent information, and do not want to see me and others of the scientific mind acting like petty, childish fucking idiots, then don’t read this and just stop coming around.
    Come on. I don’t know any of you bloggers but I did kind of look up to you all and think you must have EARNED the right to blog at scienceblogs! But I guess this is really not scienceblogs at all but a bunch of spoiled loser assholes that really can not come up with enought pertinent information in their respective fields to write about, so we act like fucking unprofessional assholes and do this when we are board!!
    Sorry, but this is bull shit! Get over it and get back to some interesting, fun insightful science.
    Thanks for listening,
    JTD

  7. #7 badrescher
    July 29, 2009

    JTD: Lighten up.

    My post was pretty serious, actually, but Mooney’s behavior was childish. It is laughable, so laugh, damn you!

    There is nothing wrong with a little laughter once in a while. In theater & film they call it “comic relief”.

    He has nice hair. And you dont MESS with people with nice hair.

    And don’t forget nice teeth. People with nice teeth are smart.

  8. #8 Sili
    July 29, 2009

    I can see why Kw*k loves him. :not on facebook:

    I have to disagree on the nice hair bit. He looked like crap on Bloggingheads. Carrol, though, now that’s nice hair.

    I’d say that Mooney is Darwin’s poodle, but poodles are fucking vicious critters. I do dislike them, too, though.

  9. #9 Oakes
    July 29, 2009

    “I’d say that Mooney is Darwin’s poodle, but poodles are fucking vicious critters.”

    If anything, Mooney is Darwin’s Cockapoo.

  10. #10 Ranson
    July 29, 2009

    Surely from here on our he’ll be reduced to writing puffed up opinion pieces, right?

    Wait, you’re saying that’s not what he’s doing now?

  11. #11 Sili
    July 29, 2009

    Well, that looks like it might work. I was thinking more along the lines of one of those handbag dogs, though.

  12. #12 Prometheus
    July 29, 2009

    M&K will make a lot of money from their book their (non academic) careers will flourish. Their faces will become ubiquitous, grinning at us from talk shows and magazine racks and from comfy chairs around the pew forum tables along with a rabbi, a hip vicar, some elaborate Greek Orthodox something-or-other and Francis “By the Powers Combined” Collins .

    PZ described their book as pointless and useless.

    It is not. It is useful to its authors and serves the end of their advancement.

    The book will succeed because it’s point was to lay the blame for a claimed and unproven floundering science literacy on the smallest group they could find that was both vocal and that M&K had an admitted prior grudge against.

    By putting the ugly baby at the doorstep of new atheists they free the religious, the accommodationists the journalists and the blissfully ignorant from all personal responsibility.

    Understanding science requires work. It requires commitment and often giving something up. Americans don’t like the idea that they can’t have whatever they want or that they have to choose between having their cake and eating it. You don’t get elected or sell things by telling people otherwise, you get elected and sell things by telling people that they, “….can eat whatever you want and still lose weight!”

    There is a big problem.
    It isn’t your fault.
    You don’t have to do anything.
    Here is someone to blame.
    Feel good about you.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Are M&K immoral unethical irresponsible lazy superficial corrupt pandering collusive propagandist backstabbers?

    Sure.

    Is that why they will be enormously successful?

    No.

    Speaking as a whore, there is another word for what they are doing.

  13. #13 E.V.
    July 29, 2009

    He unfriended you on FB? That’s so Kw*ked. I’ll bet he went “nenny nenny boo-boo”, crossed his eyes and stuck out his tongue as he did it. You & Drescher is 2 mean grrrrls!

  14. #14 Ranson
    July 29, 2009

    @ #13

    Not clicking through the link, the quote in the OP make me think of Kw*k. Glad I’m not alone.

  15. #15 Kitty'sBitch
    July 29, 2009

    “Luskin called. He wants his personality back.”

    Oh Abbie, you little minx.
    You had me at pffft…pffft…snort.

  16. #16 Ophelia Benson
    July 29, 2009

    Well I must be another one of those horrible mean women – I’ve apparently been banned altogether from commenting on Mooney’s blog, even to reply to a commenter there who announced that I’m lying. I consider that morally bankrupt.

    I was reduced to posting about it at my own place.

    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.com/notesarchive.php?id=2858

  17. #17 Azkyroth
    July 29, 2009

    Yeah, you warned me. You wrote that if I did not want to read more blag drama to look away. However, like a bad wreck, I did not. Also, your warning was not dire enogh. You should have written: If you do not want to read about (me) ERV and others you (Todd) admired for their thoughtful, insightful, somewhat insolent information, and do not want to see me and others of the scientific mind acting like petty, childish fucking idiots, then don’t read this and just stop coming around.
    Come on. I don’t know any of you bloggers but I did kind of look up to you all and think you must have EARNED the right to blog at scienceblogs! But I guess this is really not scienceblogs at all but a bunch of spoiled loser assholes that really can not come up with enought pertinent information in their respective fields to write about, so we act like fucking unprofessional assholes and do this when we are board!!
    Sorry, but this is bull shit! Get over it and get back to some interesting, fun insightful science.
    Thanks for listening,
    JTD

    1000 words…

  18. #18 ERV
    July 29, 2009

    Ophelia– I’ve apparently been banned altogether from commenting on Mooney’s blog, even to reply to a commenter there who announced that I’m lying.
    Oh thats so weird! You know who did that to me? Sal Cordova!

    The technical term is not ‘moral slime’ though. Its ‘cottage cheese dripping pussy’. But funny how we got the same mental texture from two totally independent events!

  19. #19 Sili
    July 29, 2009

    ‘cottage cheese dripping pussy’

    Annoying how combining two otherwise very nice things (or so I’m told) can result in such vile imagery.

  20. #20 Pierce R. Butler
    July 29, 2009

    And you dont MESS with people with nice hair.

    Now at last I learn why so many people MESS with me…

  21. #21 Raguel
    July 29, 2009

    “Luskin called. He wants his personality back.”

    LOL

    But will Chris forgive you for this?

  22. #22 eddie
    July 30, 2009

    At least looney/muskin* isn’t demanding vintage camera equipment, yet.
    And JTdS; would that be hardboard or cardboard? Either way, get the fuck over yourself.

    *muskin n. The whiff of cottage cheese dripping pussy.

  23. #23 truthspeaker
    August 3, 2009

    Science journalists hate two things more than anything else: 1. If you imply that science journalism in the US sucks. 2. If you expect them to do their job.

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