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Category archives for Science

Week of Science Challenge — One Week Away

The Week of Science Challenge (official website here) begins next Monday (5 February 2007). During the time of the challenge, all participating bloggers will post at least once per day on science and only science — no anti science or non-science material. If you would like to participate, you can sign up here by providing…

Esquire runs a regular article called “Answer Fella” in which stupid questions get stupid answers. In this month’s edition we find out whether cloned humans have souls, why South Dakota’s badlands are called badlands, and how many potatoes make up a bag of chips. My favorite answer, however, is to the question of what happens…

The Week of Science Challenge

Do you consider yourself a Science Blogger? You could be a hard blogging scientist, science journalist, student of science, or just a member of the general public with an interest in the scientific process. If you identify with any of these, I’ve got a challenge for you. It boils down to this: One week of…

Recycling: Wasteful?

I’m a big fan of recycling. I try to recycle whatever I can — paper, plastics, glass, aluminum — whenever I can. I was under the impression that recycling produces less waste than dumping in landfills and is better for the environment in general. Because of this, I was willing to pay the extra costs…

The Lost Biologists

The NYTimes reports on the impending budget crunch at US science funding agencies. The last Congress only passed spending bills for the military and domestic security, leaving nine others at the same level as the previous year. If we take inflation into account, the stagnant budgets result in a decrease in funding of 3-4% for…

But where is halfway? The Scientist has published an article by Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, on communicating science to the general public. The basic premise is that scientific literacy must increase, and scientists must perform the outreach in order to increase the science literacy of the average American. But what is the basal level…

Scientific Publishing in Web 2.0

The Public Library of Science (PLoS), an open access, web-based publisher, has launched its newest venture, PLoS ONE. PLoS ONE aims to bring scientific publishing into the Web 2.0 era, with a simple interface for commenting on published research articles. This feature is not unique to PLoS ONE, as the Nature blogs and BioMed Central…

A Science Laureate

Who would you nominate for Scientist Laureate, if such a position existed? That’s the question they are asking us this week. And everyone is answering E.O. Wilson. This, of course, comes with the caveat that if Carl Sagan were alive today, he’d be the obvious choice. If we can’t get Carl Sagan, why not go…

Michael Ashburner on Open Access

The new issue of Current Biology contains an interview with Drosophila geneticist Michael Ashburner. Here’s a quote from the article: Scientists should realize that if they submit to journals — like those published by Elsevier, Springer, Kluwer, Wiley and the like — then their work will be less accessible and not as widely read as…

Dan Hartl just finished a two day whirlwind speaking tour at my university (three talks in under 24 hours). He discussed detecting weak selection in protein coding sequences, identifying the underlying genetic causes of phenotypic variation in yeast, and the genetics of malaria parasites. I won’t get into the details of these talks, but I…