Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for April, 2007

I have some posts gestating on ethical issues in science, but I have to clear a bit more grading and committee work before I can do them justice. In the meantime, I want to pose a set of questions to those of you who teach labs and/or supervise laboratory research: Have you been asked to…

Friend of the blog LO alerted me to The Great Turtle Race, wherein a passel of leatherback sea turtles “race” from Playa Grande in Costa Rica to the Galapagos Islands. The linked website it tracking the turtles via satellite, so you can watch their progress and root for your favorite. (I’m pulling for Stephanie Colburtle,…

Reeling from today’s news.

Today was fully scheduled for me. Prepping for class, participating in a phone interview, teaching, midday meeting with my department chair and a dean to discuss developing an ethics module for an intro class in another department, more teaching, power-photocopying for this week’s Socrates Cafe, then a dash to the car to get the sprogs…

Overheard at the Free-Ride dinner table on the occasion of the elder Free-Ride offspring dropping a piece of broccoli: Younger offspring: Pick it up! 1-2-3-4– that was close! Elder offspring: (having retrieved the piece of broccoli from the floor) You’re counting your seconds too fast. You should say, “One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, …” Younger offspring: But…

I’m just back from a committee meeting at which the subject of grades and grade distributions came up, and it became clear to me that academics (even at the same institution, even in the same field) have wildly different philosophies about just what grades ought to mean.

After I posted on the issue twice and Julie posted on it once (although she might blog further on it), I got a brainwave about what’s at the core of our frustration with our students who ditch lots of classes. At bottom, it’s our feeling that we are not succeeding in our attempts to communicate…

The responses to my earlier post on an admittedly nutty idea to get students to come to class seem, so far, to hold that the choice of whether or not to attend class ought to rest solely with the college student, and that he or she ought to live with the consequences of that choice.…

Over sushi last night, Julie and I had one of those “kids today!” discussions so common among people teaching college students. The locus of our old-fart incomprehension was the reluctance of a significant number of students to actually attend class meetings, even when not attending class meetings has disasterous (and entirely predictable) consequences. (For example,…

PRESS CENTER | UPDATED BRACKET Janet: Welcome to team coverage of the much anticipated Chair Bracket match between Kuhn and Theory! Ben: Yes, I think we can agree on our assumptions that this will be quite a battle. Janet: I certainly hope so, Ben. Otherwise, we’re going to spend the whole game talking past each…

The younger Free-Ride offspring’s kindergarten class has been discussing rabbits for the last week or so. I can only hope the high school kids have been discussing the molecular structure of theobromine (the main alkaloid in chocolate) and working out the phase of matter of the interior of Peeps.