Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for April, 2010

Despite the crush of the closing weeks of the semester, I found a little time to follow the conversation about whether Earthicans ought to welcome a meeting with whatever extraterrestrial life might be out there to meet us, or whether we’d be better off hiding under the bed. Although the Free-Ride offspring have not followed…

From the last poll you probably guessed that this one was coming. I expect my graduate students to be working:Market Research I’ll be interested to see whether there’s any correspondence between the hours demanded by PIs who read this blog and the hours demanded of graduate students who read this blog. Once again, feel free…

The issue came up in my “Ethics in Science” class today, so I figured it was worth mounting a quick (and obviously unscientific) poll: My graduate advisor expects or requires me to work:survey software Feel free to discuss in the comments.

Yesterday in my “Ethics in Science” class, we were discussing mentoring. Near the end of the class meeting, I noted that scientists in training have a resource nowadays that just wasn’t available during my misspent scientific youth (back in the last millennium): the blogosphere. What does the blogosphere have to do with mentoring?

As we creep toward the end of the spring semester, I noticed a story at Inside Higher Ed about a commencement address gone wrong:

It has come to my attention that a number of people are risking catastrophic seismic activity today by exposing n00bs. This so-called “n00bquake” frightens me, and not just because I live in earthquake country.

Dr. Free-Ride: So, you know how sometimes you have nightmares? Younger Offspring: Yeah. Dr. Free-Ride: I had a nightmare the other night.* Younger Offspring: What was it? Dr. Free-Ride: Well, I was supposed to be picking up snakes with two sticks and moving them from one place to another. Younger Offspring: Why?

I really don’t know what to say about this news item, except that it had better mean that the California State University presumptively* views blogging on one’s own time and bandwidth as fully compatible with a professorial appointment, regardless of the subject matter on which the blog is focused or the views expressed by the…

In recent days, there have been discussions of conditions for postdoctoral fellows, and about the ways that these conditions might make it challenging to tackle the problem of the “leaky pipeline” for women in science. For example, in comments at DrugMonkey’s blog, bsci opines:

First, let me refer you to Sharon Astyk’s excellent post on what has become of Earth Day. If I had the time or energy to pay much attention to Earth Day as a particular day of observance, I think I’d share Sharon’s grumpiness. After all, paying attention to our impacts on our shared environment just…