Policy

Category archives for Policy

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…

Everybody and their siblings have been linking to this Minute Physics video, an “open letter” to President Obama complaining about the way that most high school and even intro college physics classes don’t teach anything remotely modern: I’m not entirely sure where the date of 1865 comes from, but it’s true, the standard intro physics…

One final thought on the Big Science/ Space Chronicles stuff from last week. One of the things I found really frustrating about the book, and the whole argument that we ought to be sinking lots of money into manned space missions is that the terms of the argument are so nebulous. This is most obvious…

I was tremendously disappointed and frustrated by this book. This is largely my own fault, because I went into it expecting it to be something it’s not. Had I read the description more carefully, I might not have had such a strong negative reaction (which was exacerbated by some outside stress when I first started…

A physics story makes the front page of the New York Times today. Sadly, it’s with the headline Laser Advances in Nuclear Fuel Stir Terror Fear. Sigh. The key technological development, here, is that General Electric has been playing around with a laser-based isotope separation technique. This is an idea that’s been around for a…

On the Broadening of Impact

I didn’t pay that much attention to the mini-controversy over the NSF’s proposed revision of its grant evaluation criteria when they were first released, because I was working on the book. I was asked to say something about it yesterday, though, and having gone to the trouble, I might as well say something on the…

Spaced Out

The final Space Shuttle landed the other day, leading to much lamentation over the end of the program, all over the Internet. It was absolutely choking my Twitter feeds for a while, which is mostly what I was thinking about when I re-tweeted this snide comment from Robert Lamb (though, to be fair, most of…

Dinosaurs Are Too Easy

Earlier this week, there was some interesting discussion of science communication in the UK branch of the science blogosphere. I found it via Alun Salt’s “Moving beyond the ‘One-dinosaur-fits-all’ model of science communication” which is too good a phrase not to quote, and he spun off two posts from Alice Bell, at the Guardian blog…

As I am still getting lengthy comments at the Chris Mooney post accusing me of making unreasonable demands on scientists, I thought I should spell out as explicitly as possible what skills I think scientists ought to have. This probably won’t solve the problem, but it’ll give me something to point to the next time…

I Am Baffled Regarding Chris Mooney

The kerfuffle of the moment in the science blogosphere once again relates to Chris Mooney, who is pretty much a kerfuffle looking for a place to happen at this point. This time around it centers around a Washington Post op-ed that is basically the executive summary of a American Academy of Arts and Sciences paper…