Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for January, 2009

Robert Burns‘s birthday, which was January 25, is an important day for Scottish celebration and food. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Give it a chance. So, back at ScienceOnline’09, I was talking with AcmeGirl about marking the 25th with some lovely Scottish food. She was talking about haggis. In the Free-Ride house, seeing as…

The 12th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, will be taking place February 13-16, 2009. This is a lovely (and long-running) bit of citizen science that aims to compile a continent-wide snapshot of bird populations during a few days in February before the spring…

Dr. Free-Ride: What have you been learning about in science this school year? Younger offspring: Lots of stuff. Dr. Free-Ride: Like what? Younger offspring: We learned about rocks and minerals. Rocks are made out of minerals, and some rocks have more than one kind of mineral in them. Dr. Free-Ride: So, what’s a mineral? Younger…

You may recall the case of Luk Van Parijs, the promising young associate professor of biology at MIT who was fired in October of 2005 for fabrication and falsification of data. (I wrote about the case here and here.) Making stuff up in one’s communications with other scientists, whether in manuscripts submitted for publication, grant…

Remember the scares around December 2007 about lead in children’s toys manufactured in China? Back then, people cried out for better testing to ensure that products intended for children were actually safe for children. Partly in response to this outcry, a new law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, was passed. The intent of the…

As I turned on the lights this morning, the younger Free-Ride offspring graced me with some faces. Younger offspring: This one (eyes squinted and teeth wide in a gappy second grader smile) and this one (eyes bugged out and mouth in an O of horror) creep people out. My mad look (eyebrows lowered and eyes…

There were some really good discussions of ally work in the gender in science session led by Zuska, Alice, and Abel and in the race in science session led by Danielle Lee and AcmeGirl. One of the issues that has become clearer to me is that there is an inescapable asymmetry in the relationship between…

Some quick thoughts in response to the session led by PropterDoc and Sciencewoman. In some sense, this is really just an extension of the problem of managing your public persona as you go through transitions in life. Maybe it’s something even deeper than that. Maybe it’s a piece of the project of deciding who you…

Abel Pharmboy set up a wine-tasting for this evening with a selection of wines from Wine Authorities for us to taste. Abel professes to be an “amateur” at wine-tasting, but I’m coming here from Northern California, so I have to represent! Also, after this morning’s coffee tasting, I’m kind of sold on the idea that…

Counter Culture Coffee generously invited us to join us for their regular Friday morning cupping at their Durham, North Carolina headquarters. Here are the dimensions on which the coffees are evaluated in the cupping: