Politics

Category archives for Politics

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…

In my darker moods, I sometimes suspect that all academics, regardless of their specialty, are engaged in the same pursuit: searching out and exposing the systematic oppression of… whatever department or program the faculty member speaking at the moment happens to belong to. No matter what field of study they work in, faculty seem to…

One of the great frustrations of my intellectual life, such as it is, is the problem of the disappearing quote. This is a function of having acquired a broad liberal education (in the sense of “liberal arts college” not the sense of “person to the left of Rush Limbaugh”) in a somewhat haphazard manner. My…

On Kids and Conferences

Kate had to leave at 7am this morning to go to a “retreat” for her office, so I took the kids to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. That got us all out the door at the same time, avoiding the freakout from The Pip if he saw Mommy leave without him. Kate will be late getting…

Real Scientists Have Families, Too

I was re-reading bits of James Gleick’s Feynman biography, and ran across a bit near the end (page 397 of my hardcover from 1992) talking about his relationship with his children, talking about how ordinary he seemed at home.I particularly liked the sentence “Belatedly it dawned on them that not all their friends could look…

On College Matching

We’re entering the heart of College Admissions Season– the offers are out, and students are doing the high-stress decision thing– which means it’s time for the New York Times to begin their annual series of faintly awful reports on the state of academia. And right on cue, there’s this weekend’s article about poor students who…

On Twitter and blogs, we’re having another round of complaints about sensationalism and hype in science stories– Matthew Francis and Gabrielle Rabinowitz are the latest to cross my social media feeds. I’ve also seen some stories recently (that I’m too lazy to dig up) complaining about the latest Higgs Boson stuff, and I’m sure if…

There was a lot of re-sharing yesterday of an article about the “Finkbeiner Test” to be applied to profiles of women scientists. This is analogous to the “Bechdel Test” in pop culture, which asks “Do two women talk to each other about something other than a man?”, only because we’re scientists, it’s more complicated, hitting…

Be Your Boring Self

In rapid succession yesterday, Twitter threw me two how-to-behave-online links that kind of rubbed me the wrong way. The first was a widely re-shared essay titled You Are Boring: You listen to the same five podcasts and read the same seven blogs as all your pals. You stay up late on Twitter making hashtagged jokes…

Every now and then, I run across a couple of items that tie together a whole bunch of different issues that weigh heavily on my mind. That happened yesterday courtesy of Timothy Burke, whose blog post about an NPR story is so good that there aren’t enough +1 buttons on the entire Internet for it.…