Two Cultures

Category archives for Two Cultures

Via Bora on FriendFeed, a cute little art project from MIT that takes a name, scans the Web for mentions of that name, and produces a color-coded bar categorizing the various mentions of that name. Here’s what you get if you put my name in: You can click on it for a bigger image, that…

Popularization Is Its Own Reward?

One of the major problems contributing to the dire situation described in Unscientific America is that the incentives of academia don’t align very well with the public interest. Academic scientists are rewarded– with tenure, promotion, and salary increases– for producing technical, scholarly articles, and not for writing for a general audience. There is very little…

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future is the new book by Chris and Sheril of The Intersection (formerly on ScienceBlogs, now at Discover), and they were kind enough to include me on the list of people getting review copies. It turned up on Friday (after I’d already started Newton and the Counterfeiter). I…

Two Cultures in Beginnings and Endings

Not long after I posted my comments about textbook prices, I went to a panel discussion on teaching, where a social scientist made an interesting observation about the ways different disciplines interact with books. In the humanities, the whole point of the class is to discuss the books. Nothing useful can be done until and…

Publishers Weekly Snubs Science

Carl Zimmer sent me a message via Facebook, which made me think I might owe the New York Times an apology for last week’s ranting. Publishers Weekly has come out with their list of the best books of the year, and they do even worse than the Times: not one of the 27 books in…

Science Is Interested in You

A few days ago, I complained again about the relative lack of science books in the New York Times “Notable Books of 2008″ list. Yesterday, one of the big stories was CNN axing its entire science unit, such as it was, which drew comments from lots of blogs (and more whose links I can’t be…

Science: 3.8% Notable

Last year, around this time, I posted a rant about the lack of science books in the New York Times‘s “Notable Books of 2007.” While I was out of town last week, they posted this year’s list. So, have things improved? Yes and no. They do, in fact, have two books that are unquestionably science…

Innumeracy on Parade

Via Physics and Physicists, a breathtaking blog at the Washington Post proudly proclaiming the author’s ignorance of algebra: I am told that algebra is everywhere – it’s in my iPod, beneath the spreadsheet that calculates my car payments, in every corner of my building. This idea freaks me out because I just can’t see it.…

What Humanists Think

Last weekend’s post, The Innumeracy of Intellectuals, has been lightly edited and re-printed at Inside Higher Ed, where it should be read by a larger audience of humanities types. They allow comments, so it will be interesting to see what gets said about it there. I may have some additional comments on the issue later,…

Two Cultures Round-Up

Because I am a Bad Person who thinks and types relatively slowly, I have been lax about following up to the many excellent posts that have been written in response to this weekend’s two cultures posts. Let me attempt to address that in a small way by linking a whole bunch of them now: My…