Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for February, 2006

Inside Higher Ed is reporting that UT-Austin’s Task Force on Curricular Reform has issued its report on the kind of first-year experience that might dop good things for the undergraduates (in terms of making general education more coherent and so forth). The faculty are commenting on the report. Apparently, the science and engineering faculty are…

Speaking as a scientist …

Can’t blog … grading papers. But, to honor Lawrence Summers’ retirement from fair Harvard, here’s a musing from one year ago today: Purely hypothetical case. All the names are made up. SInce it’s my thought experiment, I stipulate the facts. Of course, you are encouraged to disagree with me about what follows from those facts.…

Toss your cookies

Hey, remember how I mentioned that there had been some issues with the commenting here? And how I suggested the utterly clunky fix of using a different browser to leave your comments? We (i.e., our tech guru) think we know why that works and, even better, a less clunky way to achieve the desired result:…

Chad says all the online academics are obligated to respond, somehow, to this New York Times piece on emails from students to professors. So, I shall. But, rather than digging into the details of the article itself, or worrying about the sample size upon which it is based, or the assertions by at least one…

Qigong in science class?

A reader of this blog reports: My children went to a [public charter] school in which pseudoscience was taught to them. However, it was something more insidious than “intelligent design.” It was Qigong taught as science. One of my daughter’s classmates fell unconscious while she was performing these exercises. Then the Qigong instructor ran to…

I’m overthinking this

Sign on the door of the San Francisco Zoo’s “Insect Zoo” building: No food, drink, gum, or smoking in the Insect Zoo. No smoking I understand (an indoor space in a part of the zoo aimed at children — and it’s California). I’m less certain about the gum (but no one wants to step in…

Commenting on my last post, Karl thinks PZ and I have missed the boat: Janet said “Science isn’t just putting forward a point of view, it’s inviting the audience to check it out and see how it holds up. Nothing for sale — the audience already has the critical faculties that are needed.” no! No!…

By now, no doubt, you’ve seen Randy Olson’s advice for evolutionary biologists trying to communicate more effectively with members of the general public. While a number of his suggestions are common sense (e.g., try not to be boring), there was something about the ten suggestions, taken together, that bugged me. Not just me, either. John…

I’m a little late to the party on the Richard Cohen “who needs algebra anyway?” column in the Washington Post. As others have pointed out, the column itself is fairly lame. Piling on at this point would be a little mean. Instead of piling on, I would like to follow the admirable example set at…

It has come to my attention that there is an adjectival form of my surname in use. However, none of the extant meanings of it seem applicable to me and the stuff I do. So, dear readers, I’m asking for your help. But first, here’s the usage to date: Stemwedelian; alternate spelling: Stemewedellian (which rhymes…