Mailbag

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Mailbag

Uninvited nest update.

Yesterday I asked for advice about how to deal with a nest of eggs that presents itself in an inopportune place (a tree slated to meet a gruesome end in a whisper-chipper) at an inopportune time (mere days ahead of when we finally launch our backyard overhaul). The consensus among commenters who professed knowledge of…

Do people routinely assert that the tools and activities of your field are utterly worthless in real life? Do they go so far as to say that what you’re doing is worse than nothing, because it distracts from the real tasks that need tackling? Or is it mostly just philosophers who get this kind of…

A reader asks me to dig up a post he thinks I might have written about various careers, other than research careers, that one might pursue with a science degree. As far as I know, I haven’t written a post on this subject (although maybe he has a time machine and is remembering it from…

It has come to my attention that there is an adjectival form of my surname in use. However, none of the extant meanings of it seem applicable to me and the stuff I do. So, dear readers, I’m asking for your help. But first, here’s the usage to date: Stemwedelian; alternate spelling: Stemewedellian (which rhymes…

A couple of follow-up items to that last “how did I get here” post: At Confessions of a Science Librarian, John Dupuis shares the story of his transformation from software developer to science librarian. I love stories like this, and I kind of wish more of them had been around when I was trying to…

Last week, I blogged about my own path from chemist to philosopher. Not only did this prompt an interesting post from John Lynch about his trajectory, but it prompted the following comment: Dear Dr. Free-Ride. Your mechanistic steps to changing from hard science to philosophy of it were more what I would expect from a…

Changing career paths

Last week, while I was occupied with Tangled Bank, a reader left me this comment: I was just wondering, how did you change from chemistry to philosophy? What little career steps were involved — if you don’t mind my asking. – From an academic considering a career change. Below the fold, my secret protocol for…