Politics

The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for Politics

Ha, well, not nearly the soap opera that is the “University of East Anglia” emails, but fun to watch, nonetheless. A letter from American Physical Society president Cherry Murray: Dear APS Member: Recently, you may have received an unsolicited email from Hal Lewis, Bob Austin, Will Happer, Larry Gould and Roger Cohen regarding the APS…

An Everything But Merger Act?

I have been riveted by yesterday’s re-argument of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission before the United States Supreme Court. I mean who hasn’t? At stake, as they say in media newspeak, is the entire state of campaign finance law (the astute reader will note the choice of words in this sentence and smile.) The…

The Great Firewall of Collaboration

A fellow quantum computing researcher of mine recently joined FriendFeed. Along with another researcher we got involved in a discussion about a paper concerning a certain recent claimed “disproof of Bell’s theorem.” (arXiv:0904.4259. What it means to “disprove a theorem” like Bell’s theorem is, however a subject for another comment section on a different blog.)…

New DARPA Director

DARPA, you know the people who invented the internet (“100 geniuses connected by a travel agent”), has a new director: The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the appointment of Regina E. Dugan as the 19th director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA is the principal agency within the DoD for research,…

Who Will Study the Studiers?

NSF awards $400K in stimulus funding to study the impact of stimulus funding on science. Researchers at the University of Virginia get $199,951 to study the impact of stimulus funding on employment in science and engineering fields, while the University of Michigan receives $199,988 to develop a database of the investments in and outcomes of…

Okay, well he didn’t exactly say that, but he certainly is a smug son of a gun who asked a grade school question to a Nobel prize winner in physics, apparently expecting a “gotcha” moment (via TPM): Dudes even so proud of himself that he (or his staff) posted this video on his YouTube page.…

Where To Move?

I am always greatly amused by the display of frustration in which one threatens to leave a country if things don’t change. During the end of the first term of Bush the Second, it was common in the United States to hear liberals express their anger as: “If he wins a second term, I’m going…

Another Physicist To Washington

A press release from Caltech about Steve Koonin, who was the boss of my bosses during a SURF project and was a student of my undergraduate advisor at Caltech (and also responsible for severe drops in GPAs for many of the physicist students I knew at Caltech :)): Steven Koonin, visiting associate in physics and…

Watch NSF Spend?

The NSF has put up a “recovery” page for the stimulus bill: http://www.nsf.gov/recovery. Interestingly it appears that there is an link to an rss feed for “weekly reports.” These appear to be excel files of the spending done by the NSF under the stimulus act as of that week (so far nada has been spent.)…