The War on Science

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for The War on Science

The COMPETES Act renewal, which would provide additional funding for scientific research and education, and is targeted towards technological development and commercialization was dealt a blow yesterday as Republicans pulled more obstructionist crap. Before the Republican Party was completely taken over by the enraged Uruk-hai wing of their party, they would have not opposed this.…

For those who haven’t heard rightwing extremist Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has subpoenaed all of the documents related to climatologist Michael Mann’s state-funded research while Mann was at the University of Virginia (italics mine): In papers sent to UVA April 23, Cuccinelli’s office commands the university to produce a sweeping swath of documents relating…

Hannity and Carlson’s War on Entomology

Right wing TV bloviators oppose scientific research. And in other news, dog bites man. By way of Bug Girl, I came across this story about Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson opposing the use of $187,632 of stimulus money to buy storage cabinets for Michigan State University’s Albert J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection which houses over…

(from here) By way of Maryn McKenna, we find that the Obama Administration has decided to massively cut the funding for the CDC’s antimicrobial resistance and vaccination efforts. I thought this was the kind of anti-science bullshit that the Bush Administration did. From the IDSA (pdf): Under CDC’s proposed budget, the agency’s already severely strapped…

Why I Am Voting for Martha Coakley

If you’re in Massachusetts, there’s a special election for U.S. Senate tomorrow, and it’s much closer than it should be–the Republican Scott Brown (who is horrid–who votes to eliminate tax breaks and aid for 9/11 emergency responders?) might actually win. There are several reasons why I’m voting for Coakley*:

Before I start, let me say that I have no personal animus towards Chris Mooney: my limited interactions with him have been civil, and I agree with him on many things. But this beating up the victim has to stop. Sure, I agree with Mooney that many scientists need to learn how to communicate with…

The Great Viral Filter Shortage

It’s not as bad as the Great Brooklyn Tampon Shortage, but it’s just become a lot harder to study marine viruses. There are two basic ways to figure out how many viruses are in a given sample, such as a milliliter of seawater. One method is to mix a bacterial (or algal) cell with a…

I’ve often said on this blog that everything I know about movement conservatives, I learned from watching (and opposing) creationists. One major lesson is that words have no intrinsic meaning: they are simply means to manipulate people for your own goals. Well, Margaret Thatcher, an icon of anti-Communist opposition, admitted: …the destabilisation of Eastern Europe…

I’ll get to Whole Foods in a moment, but one of the reasons I wrote about the misuse of heritability by Megan McArdle last week is that I can’t stand it when people misuse biology to push a political agenda (and hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to that next week). As I argued…

One of the parts I liked about Unscientific America was the recognition that many scientists need to be trained in communication–and as importantly, this training requires funding, so universities have a financial incentive to reward scientific communication and outreach. Mooney and Kirshenbaum also think that non-profit organizations should and will play a critical role in…