Communicating science

Pharyngula

Category archives for Communicating science

The featured speaker at this year’s National Science Teacher Association conference in Boston is…Mayim Bialik. The lucky ones among you are saying right now, “who?”. Others may know her from her television work, but maybe don’t know the full story behind her ‘science’ activism. She’s an actor who plays Sheldon’s girlfriend on Big Bang Theory.…

You know I’m a sucker for heresy

So you won’t be surprised that I really like that Erin Podolak has asked, Can We Stop Talking About Carl Sagan? It feels like I’m committing an act of science communication sacrilege here, but I have a confession to make: Carl Sagan means absolutely nothing to me. No more than any other dude from my…

Every time you use a plastic bag at the grocery store or buy another bottle of water you are contributing to the deluge of one-use, throw-away plastic products that pile up in our landfills or float out to sea. One group in Baton Rouge is trying to raise consciousness with Sacred Waste, a performance art…

A hopeless muddle

James May, one of the presenters on Top Gear, is trying his hand at providing a little science education. I want to say…please stop. Here he is trying to answer the question, “Are humans still evolving?” In the end he says the right answer — yes they are! — but the path he takes to…

Stones, glass houses, etc.

John Bohannon of Science magazine has developed a fake science paper generator. He wrote a little, simple program, pushes a button, and gets hundreds of phony papers, each unique with different authors and different molecules and different cancers, in a format that’s painfully familiar to anyone who has read any cancer journals recently. The goal…

The CephSeq Consortium has a strategy

I approve this plan. A number of researchers have gotten together and worked out a grand strategy for sequencing the genomes of a collection of cephalopods. This involves surveying the phylogeny of cephalopods and trying to pick species to sample that adequately cover the diversity of the group, while also selecting model species that have…

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…

Creationism is a marketing game

And they know it. Ken Ham has started a new billboard campaign for the creation “museum”, with a variety of different designs, all featuring prehistoric* creatures as draws to get kids and family to attend. Here are some examples: Notice what’s smart about them? They’re focused, featuring an element that they clearly know is a…

The fake journal trend

It’s really easy to set up a completely fake peer-reviewed journal, which is a great boon to pseudoscientists, quacks, creationists, and con artists. They can be tripped up, though, since they aren’t aware of all the inside jokes and strange habits of scientists. Here’s one, a journal called “Molecular Biology”, that was exposed because they…

Elsevier = Evil

Along with SOPA and PIPA, our government is contemplating another acronym with deplorable consequences for the free dissemination of information: RWA, the Research Works Act. This is a bill to, it says, “ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector”, where the important phrase is “private sector” — it’s…