Politics

Category archives for Politics

On Private Science Funding

A couple of weeks back, DougT won this year’s Nobel betting pool, and requested a post on the subject of funding of wacky ieas: could you comment on this: http://www.space.com/22344-elon-musk-hyperloop-technology-revealed.html and the phenomenon of the uber-rich funding science in general. It seems to me that there used to be more private funding of science, and…

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Let me say these things, because they are important. Bora was wrong. Scientific American was wrong. Ofek was wrong, Wrong, WRONG. If you follow science blogs beyond this one, you have no doubt run across the gigantic debacle that erupted this past weekend; if not the first few paragraphs of this Slate piece give a…

Men, Women, and Graduation Statistics

There was a great big New York Times article on women in science this week, which prompted no end of discussion. (I also highly recommend Bee’s response at Backreaction.) It’s built around the personal story of the author, Eileen Pollack, a physics major at Yale who decided not to go to grad school, and her…

On Corrective Incentives

SteelyKid’s kindergarten teacher is big on incentives and prizes– there are a number of reward bags that get sent home with kids who excel in some particular area. I’m not entirely sure what’s in these, because SteelyKid hasn’t gotten any yet. This isn’t because she misbehaves– from all reports, she’s very good– but she’s in…

On Class and Skills and Education

In a comment to yesterday’s post about the liberal arts, Eric Lund makes a good point: The best argument I have ever heard for doing scholarship in literature and other such fields is that some people find it fun. I single this out as a good point not because I want to sneer at the…

September 11, 2013

In one of those Information Supercollider moments, two very different articles crossed in my social media feeds, and suddenly seemed to be related. The first was this New York Post piece by a college essay consultant: Finally, after 15 or so years of parents managing every variable, there comes the time when a student is…

Adam Frank has an op-ed at the New York Times that tells a very familiar story: science is on the decline, and we’re living in an “Age of Denial”. IN 1982, polls showed that 44 percent of Americans believed God had created human beings in their present form. Thirty years later, the fraction of the…

White People Only Have 2.8 Friends

There was some buzz Thursday about a poll showing that 40% of white people don’t have any friends of a different race. Ipsos/Reuters include a spiffy “data explorer” where you can make graphs like the one above. It does not appear to provide an easy way to get at the actual wording of the question,…

Thursday’s tempest-in-a-teapot was kicked off by an interview with Dan Vergano in which he suggests science reporting is a “ghetto:” The idea, and it comes from the redoubtable Tom Hayden, is that science reporting has largely become a secret garden walled off, and walling itself off, from the rest of the world. Instead of reporting…