Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for June, 2008

Elder offspring: Why do mice have long, naked tails? Dr. Free-Ride: Why do the tails of rats look so much like earthworms? Elder offspring: That doesn’t answer my question. Dr. Free-Ride: Sorry, I thought we were just making a list of life’s mysteries. * * * * *

Over at DrugMonkey, PhysioProf delivers a mission statement: Our purpose here at DrugMonkey is to try to help people identify and cultivate the tools required to succeed within the system of academic science as it currently exists. We did not create this system, and we are not in a position to to “take it down”.…

The Free-Ride offspring made it through another school year. This year, we are participating in the ritual sending-home-of-living-things from the science classroom. Instead of scoring guppies, however, we now have a little container of eggs … Dr. Free-Ride: I want to know about that little container you have in my fridge. What’s the story? Elder…

Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic. St. Martin’s Press, 1987. There are a few books on my shelf that I can read any given number of times without being bored or impatient. One of these is And the Band Played On, a painstaking work of journalism that never…

The press covering the story of bioethicist Glenn McGee’s departure from the post of director of the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College is hungry for an ironic twist. For example, Scientific American titles its article “An Unethical Ethicist?” What more fitting fall than some self-appointed morality cop going down on account of…

In a follow-up to her review of Motherhood, the Elephant in the Laboratory: Women scientists speak out by Emily Monosson, Alison George decided to investigate how many women who won Nobels also did the motherhood thing: I started at the first Nobel prize awarded to a woman: Marie Curie, in 1903. To my surprise, she…

As I emerge from my fever, I ponder the latest “Ask a ScienceBlogger” question: There are many, many academic bloggers out there feverishly blogging about their areas of interest. Still, there are many, many more academics who don’t. So, why do you blog and how does blogging help with your research? I started this blog…

Have I mentioned before that children are vectors of disease? The Free-Ride offspring are no exception in this regard. As a result, I’ve been laid low with fever and assorted flu-like symptoms. Sadly, this did not result in an edifying and amusing conversation about the workings of the immune system. Maybe when I’m better. However,…

As promised, in this post I’m examining the “best practices” document (PDF) issued by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Ethics Education Committee in the wake of the “Aetogate” allegations. Here, I’ll discuss the specific recommendations made in that document. And in an upcoming post, I’ll turn to some of the discussions paleontologists are now having…

For the June edition of Scientiae, Zuska notes: Taking up space in the world is a Bad Thing for women to do. We waste a lot of energy and time worrying about whether or not we are taking up too much space. … How do you want to take up space? How do you want…