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Pharyngula

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Remedial reading for big-time scienticians

I don’t understand how this happens. You’ve got a good academic position. You’re bringing in reasonable amounts of grant money. You’re publishing in Nature Genetics and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. And you don’t even understand the basic concepts in your field of study. For instance, here’s a press release titled “Cause of genetic disorder…

It’s summer head-asplodey time!

Gang, don’t try this at home. I’m a trained professional, so I can get away with it, although I do face extreme risk of brain damage. I am reading two books at once. OK, that part isn’t too scary, I’m actually just alternating between the two — an hour with one at lunch time, an…

Jonah Lehrer: he’s baaaaack

Lehrer has landed a new book deal. This has sparked justifiable disgust: Maria Konnikova explains why. Lehrer is not the writer who simply made up a few Bob Dylan quotes and self-plagiarized (the way he’s portrayed in recent accounts of his latest book deal). He is the writer who got the science wrong, repeatedly, who…

Science Writing! Online!

The Best Science Writing Online 2012 can be read online right now — but don’t you want to order your very own precious hard copy, too?

So nice, and so wrong

What do you do on airplanes? I usually devour a book or two, usually something popcorny and light, sometimes something I need to get read for work. On my trip home from Washington DC, I lucked out: I was handed a book the day I took off, and it turned out to be a damned…

Oh, look: I’m in Open Lab 2011!

I made the cut, and have an entry in Open Lab 2011, which means that I am one of 51 finalists. Which further means there are 50 articles over there you want to read. Which means I have just sent my readership away from here. (Also on FtB)

There aren’t enough children’s books telling the story of evolution — every doctor’s office seems to be stocked with some ludicrous children’s book promoting that nonsensical Noah’s ark story, but clean, simple, and true stories about where we came from are scarce. Here’s one, a new children’s book called Bang! How We Came to Be…

But I’ve got work to do!

How dare Terry Pratchett release his new book, Snuff, next week, on top of the new stuff from Dawkins and Pinker? Hasn’t he been paying any attention to my schedule? It’s an Inspector Vimes novel, too. Yes, I’ve preordered it. I cannot resist temptation. (Also on FtB)

Crowdsourcing for a good cancer text

Among the many joys plaguing me recently is learning that I get to teach, for the first time for me and for the first time at my university, I get to teach a course in cancer biology this spring term. I’m not totally unprepared for this — I was on a cancer training grant for…

Urge to kill…fading…fading…fading

Steven Pinker has a new book coming out next week, and I’m very much looking forward to it. It is titled The Better Angels Of Our Nature: How Violence Has Declined, and its premise is that humans have been becoming increasingly less violent over time. I’m very sympathetic to this view: I think cooperation, not…