Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for April, 2007

Jake, Chad, and Rob have posted about a newly published study about the benefits of research experiences for undergraduates. The quick version is that involvement in research (at least in science/technology/engineering/mathematics disciplines) seems to boost the student’s enthusiasm for the subject and confidence, not to mention nearly doubling the chances that the student will pursue…

This Friday, as part of my university’s sesquicentennial celebration, there’s going to be a two hour session on “The Future of Higher Education”. The keynote speaker will be Margaret Spellings, the U.S. Secrtetary of Education. There will also be a “panel discussion with national experts”, after which they will entertain questions from the audience. So,…

I’ve been dawdling on this. I was tagged by not one but two of my blog pals for the Thinking Blogger meme. Here are the official rules of the meme:

I haven’t mentioned it here before, but I’m currently working on a project to launch an online dialogue at my university (using a weblog, of course) to engage different members of the campus community with the question of what they think the college experience here ought to be, and how we can make that happen.…

Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, can you guys draw me a picture with some of the wildlife you’ve seen in the last week? Elder offspring: Sure! Younger offspring: But … I haven’t seen any wildlife in the last week. Dr. Free-Ride: What are you talking about? We see wildlife every day when we walk to school. Elder…

An important part of the practice of science is not just the creation of knowledge but also the transmission of that knowledge. Knowledge that’s stuck in your head or lab notebooks doesn’t do anyone else any good. So, scientists are supposed to spread the knowledge through means such as peer reviewed scientific journals. And, scientists…

Pencils ready? Here’s a quick quiz; circle all that apply*: 1. You’re a scientist and you’ve just published some research in a peer reviewed journal. You want: a. Scientists in your field to read and discuss your work. b. Interested non-scientists to get the important bits of what you found and why it matters, whether…

Do I blog like a girl?

This tool uses an algorithm to guess whether the chunk of text you enter into the text box was written by a male or a female. What do you suppose it thought about my writing?

Homeschooling and chemistry.

The April 16 issue of Chemical & Engineering News has an interesting article about homeschooling families looking for chemistry curricula. (You need an individual or institutional subscription to view the article; it might be worth checking with your local library.) I’m far from an expert on homeschooling (as we’re availing ourselves of the public schools),…

There’s a lot going on this week and next that captures the interest and imagination of the Free-Ride offspring. They’ve been thinking about animals that live in places we do not (like the briny seas), noticing the critters that live in our neighborhood, contemplating the ways a domestic animal might interact with our backyard ecosystem,…