Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for September, 2006

There’s been a marked difference of opinion between two of my fellow ScienceBloggers about what ought to be done about the “pipeline problem” in physics. Chad suggests that there may be a substantial problem with high school level physics instruction, given that “[e]ven if high school classes are 50/50 [female to male], the first college…

No, it’s not a cage-match between syngnathids and cephalopods. Rather, the Free-Ride offspring consider the relative merits of each. It’s kind of like weighing whether you’d rather be able to fly or become invisible. From Seahorses and Sea Dragons * * * * *

Welcome to the meeting of the 43rd Skeptics’ Circle! Good logic and critical thinking never hurt anyone, but bad logic, gullibility, and uncritical acceptance of questionable claims causes distress to small, furry animals. I’m not kidding! As proof, please consider the above picture (provided to me by Fern). Can you bear to live in a…

Tick tock, tick tock.

I wanted to remind all the nerds (a term I use to encompass as well geeks, poindexters, dweebs, and those in allied fields) that you’ll need to nerd things up by Sunday evening if you want to be considered for the final nerd-off rankings. The time remaining to represent is ticking down. And that reminded…

I actually have a longish post I’m working on (about whistleblowing), plus a bazillion submissions for the upcoming Skeptics’ Circle to sort through, but between teaching and grading and coaching and making lunches, well, there are a bunch of important tidbits that will fall through the cracks unless I give you a random bullets post:

Today, at a local outpost of a large chain bookstore, the sprogs and I endeavored to spend some gift cards. Since this is a chain which does not make book-locator terminals available to browsing customers, we were waiting at the customer service desk. Patron ahead of us in line: I’m looking for The Prince by…

Mens sana in corpore nerdo.

(“A strong mind in a nerdy body”, from the Latin, five years of which also contributes to my nerd cred.) There’s this stereotype that the really brainy kids have some difficulty moving around the physical world successfully. Sometimes it holds true, I am sad to report. In junior high, my physical education grades (Bs, generally)…

Why organic produce?

The latest “Ask a ScienceBlogger” question is: What’s up with organic foods? What are the main arguments for buying organic? Is it supposed to be better for me, or better for the planet, or what? Are organics, in any sense, worth the higher price? It’s true that I live in California (in the San Francisco…

Nerd-off status report.

Although it would seem that some suspiciously hott ScienceBloggers think they have enough data to call a winner in the nerd-off, it’s not over yet. There are more nerds poised to represent. (Not just ScienceBloggers, either. I’m curious to see whether anyone at Cosmic Variance will throw down.) As well, there will be a proper…

The next meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle will be happening right here on Thursday, September 14. You can send links to your posts about pseudo-science, quackery, tales of the paranormal, urban (or suburban, or rural) legends, and critical thinking to me. I’d appreciate getting the submissions by 3 PM (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, September 13.