Current events

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Current events

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that the California State University system (of which my fair campus is a part) has been experiencing a bit of a budget crisis. Well, while there may be glimmers of hope for a recovery in the rest of the economy, we seem to be on the cusp of…

Over at the DrugMonkey blog, PhysioProf noted that a push to increase NIH postdoctoral fellowship stipend levels by 6% may have the effect of reducing the number of postdoctoral positions available. To this, the postdoctoral masses responded with something along the lines of, “Hey, it’s possible that there are too damn many postdocs already (and…

Making good ethical choices in the real world is hard, in large part because it requires us to find the best balance in responding to interested parties whose legitimate interests pull in different directions. The situation is further complicated by the fact that as we are trying to make the best ethical decision we can,…

From a recent article in the New York Times considering University of Alabama-Huntsville shooter Amy Bishop’s scientific stature and finding it lacking, this comment on why so many denizens of the internet think they can understand why she did what she did: Why did people who knew Dr. Bishop only through reading about her crime…

In my earlier post about the findings of the Penn State inquiry committee looking into allegations of research misconduct against Michael Mann, I mentioned that the one allegation that was found to merit further investigation may have broad implications for how the public understands what good scientific work looks like, and for how scientists themselves…

Remember “ClimateGate”, that well-publicized storm of controversy that erupted when numerous email messages from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) webserver at the University of East Anglia were stolen by hackers and widely distributed? One of the events set in motion by ClimateGate was a formal inquiry concerning allegations of research conduct against Dr. Michael E.…

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…

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…

Session description: We will be talking about how the history of science and the history of the open-access movement have intersected. Steven Johnson touches on this theme in his latest book, The Invention of Air, in that 18th century British polymath Joseph Priestley was a strong advocate of publishing scientific data widely in order to…

New Year’s Eve gabfest.

If I were not involved in preparing food for Casa Free-Ride’s New Year’s Eve celebration (after which, I will be joining my family members to celebrate and/or test our endurance in the face of fatigue — I’ll let you know afterward which of those it ends up being), I would totally be writing you a…