Academics

Pharyngula

Category archives for Academics

Science: It’s a Girl Thing!

The European Commission is trying to get more women involved in science, which is good, except…look at their Science: It’s a Girl Thing campaign. Jesus wept. Serious man sits at microscope. Fashionable, slender girls slink in on ridiculous high heels and vogue to shots of bubbling flasks, splashes of makeup, twirling skirts, and giggling hot…

Oh, boy — Bobby Jindal’s new program to open up state funds to support all kinds of random nonsense in schools is going to have some interesting (that is, horrifying) effects. They are going to be throwing money at A Beka Books and Bob Jones University texts, and Accelerated Christian Education. What kinds of things…

Both Andrew Sullivan and Kevin Drum are wrong, but I think Drum is infuriatingly wrong. They’re arguing over a statistic, the observation that about 46% of Americans believe the earth is 6000 years old and that a god created human beings complete and perfect as they are ex nihilo. Andrew Sullivan sees this as a…

This is a rather chilling story of academic freedom getting trampled. A whole pile of documentation is available at that link, I’ll try to simplify it down a lot. UC Davis was sponsoring a public seminar on prostate cancer; specifically, they were actively promoting the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. One professor, Michael Wilkes, objected…

Meet Jeff Flake from Arizona. His number one goal is the destruction of the federal government, one piece at a time. His first target: the National Science Foundation. The NSF funds a big chunk of the country’s basic research to the tune of about $7 billion/year, and Flake proposed cutting it by a billion dollars.…

Making excuses

The editor of Life, Shu-Kun Lin, has published a rationalization for his shoddy journal. Life (ISSN 2075-1729, http://www.mdpi.com/journal/life/) is a new journal that deals with new and sometime difficult interdisciplinary matters. Consequently, the journal will occasionally be presented with submitted articles that are controversial and/or outside conventional scientific views. Some papers recently accepted for publication…

An open letter to the Indiana legislature

The Indiana Senate has approved this bill: The governing body of a school corporation may offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology. I’ve heard a few…

Your state’s report card

The Fordham Institute has released their annual evaluation of state science standards. They are very tough graders — Minnesota got a “C”. Ack! Mom & Dad are going to be pissed, how will we ever get into a good college at this rate? The Institute does a fairly thorough breakdown, so there are some bright…

Death to Elsevier!

You already know my feelings about that exploitive science publisher, Elsevier; I’m not the only one, and there’s been a long, long history of anger over their publishing model — and it’s not just scientists, but scholars in other disciplines who have been peeved. Now a boycott has coalesced. If you publish, edit, or review…

Lots of people have been sending me this paper by Erik Andrulis, and most of you have done so with eyebrows raised, pointing out that it’s bizarre and unbelievable; some of you wrote asking whether it was believable, at which point my eyebrows went up. Come on people: when you see one grand cosmic explanation…