Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for May, 2006

It’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask a ScienceBlogger”. The question of the day is: Since they’re funded by taxpayer dollars (through the NIH, NSF, and so on), should scientists have to justify their research agendas to the public, rather than just grant-making bodies? Although in earlier posts I’ve taken up the question of…

Sure, John and GrrlScientist and Orac took the quiz first, but I loves me some Edward Gorey, and who doesn’t want to know how they’ll meet the reaper?

Commencement: done. Grading: not quite. So, as seen at See Jane Compute, it’s time for the guilty pleasures meme. (And for those who feel inclined to use the comments to get accusatory about my responses, I’m already acknowledging my guilt!) Here we go:

Regalia retrofit.

I have a soft spot for commencements. And, as I get on in years, that spot gets even softer. Part of it, undoubtedly, is because recognizing the hard work and accomplishments of the new graduates is so much more fun than the grading that immediately precedes it. But for me, part of what grabs me…

Dr. Free-Ride: (sidling up to the younger offspring this morning with tape-recorder in hand) Hey, can I ask you about — Younger offspring: I don’t remember them. Dr. Free-Ride: Huh? Younger offspring: I don’t remember the words to the brontosaurus song, and David won’t sing it for me anymore because we’re done studying dinosaurs. You’ll…

Blogging has been light because grading has been heavy. But Chad has a post that started me to thinking. (Danger! Danger!) And, since he has stated his desire to avoid a flamewar at this time, it seems only fair that I do that thinking over here so his space can be unscorched. The question at…

I’m marking another stack of papers (because it’s May, and the sun is shining, and apparently I was a real bastard in some previous life). In these papers, the students were supposed to examine an instance where the interests of scientists and the interests of non-scientists (perhaps various subgroups of non-scientists) might be at odds.…

The latest edition of Tangled Bank, the carnival of the blogosphere’s best science writing, is now up at Science and Politics. And, Coturnix makes an announcement that readers of Science and Politics, Circadiana, and The Magic School Bus won’t want to miss.

Science and modeling.

It’s time for anothe installment of “Ask a ScienceBlogger”. This week’s question: If you could shake the public and make them understand one scientific idea, what would it be? Here, because others have already snagged my standard answer to this question, and because I’ve already embraced unrealistically high expectations in the last 24 hours, I’m…

Dear inventors, My personal experience (and what I have heard from the many other academics with whom I communicate) suggests a number of inventions that would sell a bazillion units at colleges and universities world-wide. For your convenience, I list the items that would have the biggest demand first. However, it’s worth noting that even…