Social issues

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Social issues

Session description: The conference timing may keep some attendees away in their hometowns participating in local MLK activities. Therefore, we are introducing a session to promote the principles of Dr King in the context of online science communication: promoting social justice and eliminating racism in areas ranging from healthcare to scientific career paths. We plan…

Coming up with a good definition is hard. And it’s not obvious that people are even really talking about the same thing when they identify an action or a situation as displaying civility or incivility. So I’m wondering what kind of insight we can get by looking at some particular situations and deciding which side…

Two weeks from today, at ScienceOnline ’10, Dr. Isis, Sheril Kirshenbaum, and I will be leading a session called “Online Civility and Its (Muppethugging) Discontents”. In preparation for this, the three of us had a Skype conference last night, during which it became clear to us that there are many, many interesting issues that we…

I’m not a regular reader of USA Today, but Maria tweeted this story, and I feel like I need to say something about it or else risk leaving it rattling around in my head like marbles under a hubcap: About 70% of Americans agree, either somewhat or strongly, that it’s beneficial for women to take…

In a post a couple weeks ago, I commented on the ethical dimension of opting out of vaccination against serious contagious diseases: Of course, parents are accountable to the kids they are raising. They have a duty to do what is best for them, as well as they can determine what that is. They probably…

Yesterday, in my first post about the Silence is the Enemy campaign, I wrote: Addressing rape directly. From the point of view of ethics, you’d think this would be a very short discussion. It is wrong to commit sexual violence. It is wrong to act out your frustration or your sense of entitlement or your…

This month, Sheril Kirshenbaum and Dr. Isis are spearheading a blogospheric initiative to call attention to a continuing epidemic of mass rapes in Liberia even six years after the end of its 14 year civil war, and to try to do something about it. Last month, Nicholas Kristof described the situation in the New York…

Dr. Isis has some rollicking good discussions going on at her pad about who might care about blogs, and what role they might play in scientific education, training, and interactions. (Part one, part two.) On the second of these posts, a comment from Pascale lodged itself in my brain: I think a lot of impressionable…

A bunch of people (including Bora) have pointed me to Clay Shirky’s take on #amazonfail. While I’m not in agreement with Shirky’s analysis that Twitter users mobilized an angry mob on the basis of a false theory (and now that mob is having a hard time backing down), there are some interesting ideas in his…

Those of you on Twitter yesterday probably noticed the explosion of tweets with the hashtag #amazonfail. For those who were otherwise occupied carving up chocolate bunnies or whatnot, the news spread to the blogs, Facebook, and the traditional media outlets. The short version is that on Easter Sunday, a critical mass of people noticed that…