Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for January, 2010

This, our first week of classes of the Spring semester, also marked the return of regular publication of the daily student newspaper. Since I’m not behind on grading yet (huzzah for the first week of classes!), I picked up yesterday’s copy and read one of the front-page articles on my way to my office. And…

Friday Sprog Blogging: ferrets.

The elder Free-Ride offspring, always a fan of mustelids, has lately taken a particular interest in ferrets. Given that Casa Free-Ride is located in the great state of California, this interest in ferrets has also spurred an interest in state law. In California, it’s illegal to keep ferrets as pets. According to the elder Free-Ride…

An open letter

… to the student in my “Ethics in Science” course. Today was our second class meeting, which is essentially the first real class meeting — the one in which, instead of just focusing on the overall arc of the course, and the assignments you’ll be doing, and the mechanics of finding the information you need…

Last-minute weekend plans.

It’s true that I recently returned from a fairly geeky conference, but I just found out about one happening practically in my backyard. And, given that I don’t yet have any papers to grade, I figured I should check it out. (Today is the last day to register without paying the late registration fee, in…

Search term hilarity.

While I meet my students and try to mitigate freak-outs about enrollments, I offer for your consideration some of the search strings that brought people to this blog during the month of January:

(As before, I’m still not sure whether, in the metaphor, the factory is building monkeys or staffed by monkeys. Perhaps, really, we’re in the business of making educated monkeys, and the problem is that our administration views this as akin to making widgets. Anyway, the point is: Explosions! Chaos! Shrieking! Brachiating along the pieces of…

Early this month, my better half got something for the Free-Ride offspring that is somewhere in the realm of “this will be edifying, but maybe they’ll find it cool, and if they don’t then at least the grown-ups will have fun playing with it”. So far, it has been all of the above. It’s a…

Civility and politeness.

In a comment on a post at Henry Gee’s blog (I’d link the comment itself, but for the life of me I cannot figure out where the permalink is), Ed Yong offers his view on the relation between politeness and civility. Quoth Ed: My objection comes when people mistake politeness for virtue rather than what…

Back in December (or as we academics call it, Exam-Grading Season), esteemed commenter Ewan told us about a horrifying situation that was unfolding for him: Probably not totally relevant, but frankly I’m still in a little shock. Graded exams Friday evening before heading out for weekend. Noted some really strong efforts (take-home exam), some really…

There was one session at ScienceOnline2010 which I did not Tweet as it was going on — the session I led with Sheril Kirshenbaum and Dr. Isis. Here’s how that session was described in the conference program: Online Civility and Its (Muppethugging) Discontents – Janet Stemwedel, Sheril Kirshenbaum and Dr.Isis Description: Janet, Sheril, and Isis…