Culture of science

Neuron Culture

Category archives for Culture of science

We’ll start with the science, cruise through J school, and end with healthcare reform or bust. Genetic material Willful ignorance is not an effective argument against personal genomics : Genetic Future Mr. McDonald spanks the frightened. The American Scientist, meanwhile, takes a shot at Putting Genes in Perspective Culture and the human genome From the…

Jonah Lehrer’s story on “Depression’s Upside” has created quite a kerfuffle. The idea he explores — that depression creates an analytic, ruminative focus that generates useful insight — sits badly with quite a few people. It’s not a brand-new idea, by any means; as Jonah notes, it goes back at least to Aristotle. But Jonah…

Kandel on camera

I profiled neuroscientist Eric Kandel for Scientific American Mind a while back; a huge pleasure. Two things stand out.  First, Kandel’s work makes a wonderful foundation for an understanding of neuroscience, as his mid-20th-century insights into the dynamics of memory underlie much of the discipline. Second, Kandel  is a gas — gracious, funny, and stunningly…

Above: Kasparov after his first meeting with Deep Blue, in 1997, when he crushed DP. Later it wouldn’t go so well. In a splendid article in the NY Review of books, former world chess champion Gary Kasparov ponders the limitations of technology as a means of playing chess truly well. When I hit this paragraph…

via Wall Street Journal Health Blog: For a while now, the FDA and other regulators have been looking at safety risks associated with a few drugs patients sometimes take before getting MRI scans. While it’s common for new risks to crop up with established drugs, the Times of London this weekend highlighted an interesting twist…

Note: The version below is altered from the original, which was near-gibberish in a few spots. Why? Because I mistakenly posted a pre-edit version that contained the raw ‘transcription’ from voice-recognition software I’ve been trying out. (I suppose it could have been a lot worse.) Here, more or less as I meant it to appear:…

I wanted to rig up an electrified fence around the falsehood to keep the producers from sneaking back to it via blogs.discovermagazine.com Carl Zimmer on just how damned bad much science TV is. I’ve not advised programs, as Carl has, but the times I’ve seen subjects I’d written about covered on TV — DBS for…

At the ScienceOnline 2010 conference next month, I’m going to be on a panel about “Rebooting Science Journaiism,” in which I’ll join Carl Zimmer, Ed Yong, and John Timmer in pondering the future of science journalism. God knows what will come of it, as none of us have the sure answers. But that session, as…

Over at the Times Magazine Motherlode blog, Lisa Belkin ran a short post about my Atlantic “Orchid Children” piece a couple days ago, and some of the responses she got strike to an issue that has come up quite a few other places. I posted a note on this at Motherlode, and wanted to expand…

1. Maybe it was just the headline … but the runaway winner was “No pity party, no macho man.” Psychologist Dave Grossman on surviving killing. Actually I think it was the remarkable photo, which looks like a painting. Check it out. 2. I’m not vulnerable, just especially plastic. Risk genes, environment, and evolution, in the…