Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for August, 2007

On Stranger Fruit, there’s a response by historian of science Naomi Oreskes to recent criticisms of her 2004 paper in Science discussing the consensus position regarding anthropogenic climate change. While the whole trajectory of these sorts of “engagements” is interesting in its way — attacks on claims that weren’t made, critiques of methodologies that weren’t…

It has been noted before that the Free-Ride offspring have a fondness for LOLcats. (After all, what six- to eight-year-old wouldn’t like LOLcats?) But it turns out that even captioned kitties can be the impetus for a conversation about matters scientific. Oh noes! Younger offspring: That kitty doesn’t want to be caged. Elder offspring: Because…

Dave Munger pointed me to an article in the New York Times that claims “switching to a plant-based diet does more to curb global warming than switching from an S.U.V. to a Camry.” Dave is a critical consumer of information and notes that there is little given in this particular article (which appears in the…

Even though I’ve been frightfully busy this week, I’ve been following the news about the launch of PRISM (Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine). I first saw it discussed in this post by Peter Suber, after which numerous ScienceBloggers piled on. If you have some time (and a cup of coffee), read Bora’s…

This is a follow-up, of a sort, to the previous post on why serious discussions (as opposed to shouting matches or PR campaigns) about the use of animals in research seem to be so difficult to have. One of the contentious issues that keeps coming up in the comments is how (if at all) such…

Lately it’s struck me that when I post on the issue of research with animals, many of the comments I get on those posts see the issue as a black and white one. Mind you, these commenters don’t always agree about whether it is the scientists or the animal rights activists who are on the…

Monday brainteaser.

This is our third teaching day of the semester (which started last Thursday), so of course, WebCT’s servers decided that it would be a good time to freak out. (The official description: … experiencing network latency within our VA2 data center that may be affecting your Blackboard environment. This may result in increased latency and/or…

The other day I received a DVD made by Americans for Medical Progress called Physicians – Speaking for Research. (They indicate on their site that the DVDs are free for the asking.) This is a DVD aimed at physicians, rather than at research scientists or the general public. However, the aim of the DVD is…

One of the best things about Fridays on my campus is that hardly anyone is around. Not only does this make parking less of a headache, and interruption mid-task less probable, but it means that there’s even less pressure to dress in a manner that asserts, “I am a responsible adult!” I mean, I am…

As an added bonus, this week’s entry includes a behind the scenes peek at our FSB “process”. Yeah, I’m scared, too. Walking across a large field at the junior high school where we sometimes play soccer: Younger offspring: My foot almost went in a hole. Elder offspring: Be careful! There are lots of holes, and…