Journalism

Category archives for Journalism

Person of the Year, 2010

I’m very pleased to announce that the Uncertain Principles Person of the Year for 2010 is… SteelyKid: Why do I say this? Well… First, as lots of people will tell you, we’re all citizen journalists now. Which means that I’m every bit as entitled to declare a person of the year as Time magazine is.…

Science Is Not Irreducibly Complex

The poor coverage of science in the media is an evergreen topic in blogdom, to the point where I’ve mostly stopped clicking on links to those sorts of pieces. This ScienceProgress post about newsroom culture bugged me, though, and it took me a while to figure out the problem. The author worked as a reporter…

Precision Measurement Hits Cable

I didn’t see it live, but thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can see Tom O’Brian of NIST talking about measurement on the Rachel Maddow show last night: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Tom used to have an office not far from the lab I worked…

Dennis Overbye is a terrific writer, but I have to say, I hate the way that he falls into the lazy shorthand of using “physics” to mean “theoretical particle physics” in this article about a recent conference built around debates about the state of particle physics. He’s got lots of great quotes from Lisa Randall…

Tiger Woods Can’t Win

I mostly try to avoid stupid celebrity gossip stories, but the last two weeks, it’s been impossible to escape the sordid Tiger Woods thing. I still don’t care about his personal life, but there’s one thing that keeps coming up in the media coverage that’s annoying me even beyond the stupidity of the whole business.…

Sportz Is Hurting America

Over at the Mid-Majority, Kyle Whelliston (formerly of espn.com) has a great essay on the “Sportz” phenomenon: Sports are great. Actual participation is awesome, but watching other people do sports can still be pretty good too. These days, people can watch sports anytime, anywhere and in whatever state of undress they choose. These are truly…

My panel on “Communicating Science in the 21st Century” was last night at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival at the Perimeter Institute. I haven’t watched the video yet– Canadian telecommunications technology hates me, and I’m lucky to get a wireless connection to stay up for more than ten minutes– but if the video feeds I’ve…

Taking Off for the Great White North

I’m heading to the airport right after my second class today (I’m doing two weeks of our first-year seminar class), to appear at the Quantum to Cosmos Festival at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo. This promises to be a good event– I had a great time at the Science in the 21st Century workshop last…

Grocery Store Science

Dan Meyer, like most people, has long wondered whether there was a good way to predict which check-out line at the grocery store will be the fastest. Unlike most people, he used science to find an answer: “I spent ninety minutes last week just watching, counting, and timing groceries as they slid across a scanner.”…

Dehumanizing the Two Cultures

It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have full-text access to Mark Slouka’s article in Harper’s, with the title “Dehumanized: When math and science rule the school.” Just the description in this Columbia Journalism Review piece makes me want to hunt down the author and belt him with a Norton anthology: According to the…