Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for September, 2009

On my earlier post, “Dialogue, not debate”, commenter dave c-h posed some interesting questions: Is there an ethical point at which engagement is functionally equivalent to assent? In other words, is there a point at which dialogue should be replaced by active resistance? If so, how do you tell where that point is? I think…

Send GrrlScientist to Antarctica!

GrrlScientist is in a contest to become Quark Expedition’s official blogger from Antarctica. (So is DN Lee from Urban Science Adventures.) Grrl has been doing pretty well getting votes in this contest, despite the fact that her competition includes a radio personality from Portugal and a member of the Osmond family. Of the top vote-getters,…

Dialogue, not debate.

At the end of last week, I made a quick trip to UCLA to visit with some researchers who, despite having been targets of violence and intimidation, are looking for ways to engage with the public about research with animals. I was really struck by their seriousness about engaging folks on “the other side”, rather…

Owing to the fact that I had to focus my attention on getting healthy in a hurry so I could catch a plane yesterday evening, I asked the elder Free-Ride offspring to write something for this week’s Friday Sprog Blogging entry. Owing, I think, to my apparent fragility, the elder Free-Ride offspring assented to this…

I ended up spending a significant portion of the last several days down with something flu-like. (It included a fever and the attendant aches, chills, and sweats, as well as the upper respiratory drowning-in-my-own-mucus symptoms.) I did not drag my ailing butt out of bed to go to the doctor and have my flu-like thing…

The best laid plans.

Imagine you are looking ahead to a furlough day and taking seriously the piece of the agreement that specifies that you won’t actually do any work on that furlough day. To prevent yourself from backsliding by doing work to pass the time, do you:

Psychohazard.

The other day, while surfing the web, my better half came upon this semi-official looking symbol for psychohazards: The verbiage underneath the symbol seem to indicate conditions that might have serious consequences for one’s picture of the world and its contents, or for one’s ability to come to knowledge about the world. A philosopher who…

Yesterday Dr. Isis put up a post that seems to have bugged many of the people who subsequently posted comments on it. I have no idea whether the commenters on the post intended to convey it, but here’s what’s coming across to me as a reader of the exchange:

The Free-Ride family got its copy of the new CD/DVD set Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants this week. The sprogs, who have been listening and watching, offer something kind of like a review.

You want a post *and* comments??

And really, why wouldn’t you? What could have prepared you for the possibility that reading one would make the other vanish, as if there were some kind of blogular wavefunction collapse? The ScienceBlogs powers that be have been alerted that there’s an issue with disappearing comments (if you’re reading a post) and disappearing posts (if…