Communicating science

Pharyngula

Category archives for Communicating science

A little light reading

For those of you who aren’t satisfied with this weird electronic stuff, you can now get the last year’s best science blogging manifested in ink on cellulose. The Open Laboratory is now on sale.

If you asked me about cosmology, I’d defer to physicists — I’ve read Stenger & Hawking & Krauss & Carroll, and I might be willing to say a few generalities about what I’ve learned about the process, but I’d always say you should look to the original sources for more information. There seem to be…

Jerry Coyne has made a strong observation, and is also hinting at an alternative, about the way the AAAS panders to religion. Once again, they’re having a session at the national meeting in February dedicated to the accommodationist view, with a one-sided slate of speakers all preaching about the compatibility of science with superstition. We’re…

How to game Google Scholar

I’ve heard back from a few people now who contacted Google about the issue of indexing creationist sites in Google Scholar; these are informal remarks from the team, not an official policy statement, but they’re still interesting. And revealing. And useful. They’ll change your perspective on Google Scholar. The premise of the petition to Google…

Goldacre whips it out

I told you that maybe talking real fast would be a viable lecture strategy, and here’s Ben Goldacre proving me right!

Why I hate Robin Ince

You might want to look at Ince’s web page: he’s touring in March and April, and in May he’s gathered together Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre, and Simon Singh for a “science tour celebrating the universe and many of the wonders that lie within it”. That all looks wonderful, you think, and so do I. I…

Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth

Have you got kids? Are you tangentially related to any young people? Are you young yourself? Do you know anyone who just likes a good story and interesting science? Well, then, I’m sorry, but reading this article will cost you $12.89. Jay Hosler has a new book out (illustrated by Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon),…

I don’t think journal editor L. Henry Edmunds is quite clear on how the scientific method should work: we’re supposed to have the free exchange of information. His journal recently retracted a paper (from other sources, it was apparently because the authors, um, “recycled” data from another study), and when asked why, his answer was…

Optogenetics!

The journal Nature has selected optogenetics as its “Method of the Year”, and it certainly is cool. But what really impressed me is this video, which explains the technique. It doesn’t talk down to the viewer, it doesn’t overhype, it doesn’t rely on telling you how it will cure cancer (it doesn’t), it just explains…

Science is not dead

People keep sending me this link to an article by Jonah Lehrer in the New Yorker: The Decline Effect and the Scientific Method, which has the subheadings of “The Truth Wears Off” and “Is there something wrong with the scientific method?” Some of my correspondents sound rather distraught, like they’re concerned that science is breaking…