Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for October, 2009

When collaboration ends badly.

Back before I was sucked into the vortex of paper-grading, an eagle-eyed Mattababy pointed me to a very interesting post by astronomer Mike Brown. Brown details his efforts to collaborate with another team of scientists who were working on the same scientific question he was working on, what became of that attempted collaboration, and the…

It’s day 20 of the 2009 Social Media Challenge in which generous ScienceBlogs readers (among others) help raise funds through DonorsChoose for books, supplies, field trips, and other classroom projects in cash-strapped U.S. public schools. So far, we’ve made impressive progress, with 13 challenges mounted by ScienceBlogs bloggers raising a total of $19,462. You may…

Over at Starts with a Bang, Ethan Siegel expressed exasperation that Nature and New Scientist are paying attention to (and lending too much credibility to) an astronomical theory Ethan views as a non-starter, Modified Netwonian Dynamics (or MOND): [W]hy is Nature making a big deal out of a paper like this? Why are magazines like…

From my friend Vance, on Facebook, a link that announces an option for your Hallowe’en entertainment: Halloween Book Burning
 Burning Perversions of God’s Word 
October 31, 2009

This, in turn, means that members of the public who strongly disagree with your stand may decide to track you down and let you know they disagree with you. Apparently, this may become an issue for those who signed the Pro-Test petition in support of ethical and human scientific research with animals. From an email…

The Free-Ride offspring try to explain what it means for an organism to be adapted to its environment, and why it matters: Dr. Free-Ride: OK, so you’ve been learning in school about? Younger offspring: Different adaptations. Dr. Free-Ride: Can you explain what an adaptation is? Younger offspring: Well, I forgot.

Our month-long drive with DonorsChoose to raise funds for public school classroom projects has been under way for almost two weeks now. At the moment, the ScienceBlogs leaderboard show a total of $15,890 from 121 generous donors, benefiting 6,971 public school students. That’s pretty good work so far! Of course, there’s also the matter of…

At dinner last night, the younger Free-Ride offspring told us about a science lesson from earlier this week: Dr. Free-Ride: You were going to tell me about a science activity you did, we think, on Tuesday in school? Younger offspring: Mmm-hmm. Dr. Free-Ride: Tell us what it’s called. Younger offspring: “Best Bird Beak”. Dr. Free-Ride:…

After my last class today, I participated in a Future Faculty Seminar at Stanford. I was on a panel about negotiating faculty jobs, dealing with the two-body problem while on the academic job market, balancing work and life once you have a faculty job, and so forth. It was a fun panel, and lots of…

About 5 hours ago, “HP from Palo Alto, California” just rocked our world (and helped a bunch of public school classrooms) by plunking down $50 on each of the 13 challenges mounted by ScienceBlogs bloggers in the DonorsChoose 2009 Social Media Challenge. That’s a total of $650! I’m thinking there’s a good chance that the…