Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for May, 2007

Because I am engaged in a struggle with mass quantities of grading, I’m reviving a post from the vault to tide you over. I have added some new details in square brackets, and as always, I welcome your insight here.

Yes, there will still be Friday Sprog Blogging this Friday. No, Wednesday Sprog Blogging is not going to become a regular feature. On the walk to school this morning: Younger offspring: I wonder if we’ll see that pair of crows or ravens on the field again today. I like how they can jump. Dr. Free-Ride:…

Lowered expectations.

I used to think what I really needed this time of semester was elves.

In the comments on a number of recent posts, I’ve been sensing a certain level of cynicism about the realities of scientific practice, and it’s been bumming me out. (In fairness, as I reread those comment threads today, the comments aren’t as jaded as I remember them being; it’s probably that the ones with a…

Ann Althouse asks why schools should bother having kids read fiction: And why does reading even need to be a separate subject from history in school? Give them history texts and teach reading from them. Science books too. Leave the storybooks for pleasure reading outside of school. They will be easier reading, and with well-developed…

A conversation while walking to school with the Free-Ride offspring: Younger offspring: Look out, a bumblebee! Dr. Free-Ride: We’re far enough away that we’re not bothering it. I doubt it would sting you unless it was scared you were going to hurt it. Elder offspring: Hey, did you know that bumblebees make their nests underground?…

Science fairs rock!

I hope you’ve noticed that Seed has sent a team to blog the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair currently raging in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I love science fairs. I’ve judged them (and recruited others to judge them). At our county fair, I’m always sucked right into the science-fair-type exhibits entered by kids in the…

Let’s see your mug.

Dave at The World’s Fair is collecting field data on coffee mugs. Or maybe he’s trying to create a meme. Anyway, he poses a bunch of questions which I seem to be unable to resist answering: Can you show us your coffee cup? Can you comment on it? Do you think it reflects on your…

Someone forgot to tell our department photocopier that finals started today; rather than being a vengeful photocopier toying with the pitiful mortals in its thrall, it was a happy photocopier that photocopied my final exams beautifully. And since I wasn’t clearing any cryptic paper jams, my mind wandered into the question of how others approach…

My recent post on the feasibility (or not) of professionalizing peer review, and of trying to make replication of new results part of the process, prompted quite a discussion in the comments. Lots of people noted that replication is hard (and indeed, this is something I’ve noted before), and few were convinced that full-time reviewers…