Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for June, 2006

Reader Paul Suliin points me at a post at Pharyngula about the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Beyond the “Yay, Episcopalians!” it prompted from me (she was trained as an oceanographer!), the post has some interesting things going on in the comments, where commenters have been discussing whether…

This time they’re going after Tara. So sad that a fundraiser would inspire such an underhanded attack. Someone must be feeling very desperate! * * * * * Reading Aetiology was fun — but suddenly I was washing my hands obsessively, sending back rare hamburgers at restaurants, and turning down rest-stop guitar-string tattoos. My friends…

I was thinking some more about the Paul Root Wolpe commentary on how scientists avoid thinking about ethics, partly because Benjamin Cohen at The World’s Fair wonders why ethics makes scientists more protective of their individuality than, say, the peer-review system or other bits of institutional scientific furniture do. My sense is that at least…

Because I was in Sweden for my younger offspring’s birthday, and because my older offspring’s birthday is nowhere near the school year, we gave them a joint un-birthday party today. Each was allowed to invite eight friends. Of these, a total of five attended (plus a younger sib), but there was some suspense about what…

Sad to report, the Sb/DonorsChoose anti-biology attack ad seems not to have been an isolated incident. My anonymous source discovered another such ad, this one targeted at the brain sciences crowd. What has become of our sense of scientific unity? Can we pull together despite attacks like the one reproduced below the fold? Does this…

I should have known it would come to this. A week into our ScienceBlogs/DonorsChoose drive to raise money for schools, the warm spirit of pan-science-harmony has started to erode. An anonymous source has come into possession of the text of an attack ad targeting our biological brethren and sistern. I hate to even give a…

It’s no surprise that the scientific and medical research in which the public tends to show the most interest is the research that is somehow connected to practical issues, like living longer and healthier lives. Scientists who depend on public monies to support their investigations have gotten pretty good at painting the “so what” for…

Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, how was Nature Study today? Younger offspring: We went on a nature walk. Dr. Free-Ride: What kind of nature did you see? Younger offspring: We didn’t see any. Dr. Free-Ride: A nature walk without any nature? Younger offspring: Uh huh. Dr. Free-Ride: Isn’t that just a walk?

Upcoming conferences.

Hey readers, I don’t mean to be nosy, but are any of you planning to be at: BlogHer 2006 in San José, California? BCCE 2006 in West Lafayette, indiana? PSA 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia? If not, what else is going on that we should know about?

There’s a nice commentary in the most recent issue of Cell about scientists’ apparent aversion to thinking about ethics, and the reasons they give for thinking about other things instead. You may not be able to get to the full article via the link (unless, say, you’re hooked up to a library with an institutional…