Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for October, 2008

Regular commenter Super Sally (who this blogger knows as “Mom”) made a generous contribution to my challenge and requested sprog art and a limerick on the subject of astronomy. (She also indicated that this donation was to go to the “NO TATTOO” fundraising total.) If only I had a fancy overhead projector with which to…

Ewan made a generous donation to one of the projects in my challenge and, as he did last year, he requested a poem illustrated by the sprogs on the subject of memory. It turns out that drawing “memory” is pretty challenging! However, the sprogs worked out some ways to represent the concept of memory more…

By now you’ve probably seen the news that Seed has kicked in $15,000 to fund projects in our Blogger Challenge slates. We are, as always, thrilled at our Overlords’ generosity. This year, though, rather than applying the money at the end of the drive, we have a situation where each blog with an active challenge…

Jake has a great post up today about the frequency with which American internists and rheumatologists prescribe placebos and the ethical questions this raises. Jake writes: For my part, I don’t think I would be comfortable deceiving my patient under any circumstances. I see my role as a future physician partly as a healer but…

A conversation from the sidelines at the elder Free-Ride offspring’s soccer game: Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, what are you drawing? Younger offspring: Stars. Dr. Free-Ride: Hmmm. Younger offspring: I know they don’t look like the way they teach you how to draw stars, but real stars don’t look that way. Dr. Free-Ride: You have a point.

Given that today is Mole Day, it seemed only fair to follow up on our earlier experimentation with avocados. You may recall that, in discussing our efforts to dissolve avocados, we said: One further experiment we’ve decided to try at some future point is to investigate whether we can make mayonnaise substituting mashed avocado for…

This is National Chemistry Week. It’s always chosen to coincide with whichever calendar week includes October 23 (or 10/23), since October 23 is “Mole Day”. “Huh? Why would chemists celebrate a furry critter that burrows underground?” Not that mole. The mole chemists celebrate is a unit.

I’ve talked about a number of these issues before, but since Abel and PalMD are having some conversations (here, here, here, here, here, and here) in preparation for their session at ScienceOnline09, and since I’ve experienced the blogosphere on both sides of the pseudonymous line, I thought I’d pipe up. Some good reasons (from the…

Maybe you heard about the melamine contamination issue when tainted pet food started killing pets. But, if you don’t have a pet, maybe you didn’t worry so much. Or maybe you noticed when tainted infant formula started sending infants to the hospital. Stuff that harms babies (even way far away in China) is really sad.…

On the East Coast, the sun is rising on day 21 of Blogger Challenge 2008. With only 10 days left in the drive, it seems like a good time to check how the ScienceBloggers with challenges are making out. Thus, I present the “Top Six” standings to date: