Policy

Category archives for Policy

Bell Labs vs. the LHC

A number of people have commented on this LA Times op-ed by Steve Giddings about what physicists expect to come out of the Large Hadron Collider. It includes a nice list of possible particle physics discoveries plus a few things that will annoy Peter Woit, and also includes the obligatory note about spin-offs: All this…

The British Accountants’ War On Science

I’ve been dimly aware that physics in the UK was being hit hard by a financial crisis for a while now. It seemed to be a bit deeper than what people in other countries complain about, but I hadn’t given it much thought until I read this Physics World story on the latest cuts, which…

Hail to the Geek

Via Chris Mooney, a Seth Borenstein article about Obama’s love for science: Out in public, Obama turns the Bunsen burner up a notch, playing a combination of high school science teacher and math team cheerleader. Last week, for example, the president announced that the White House would hold an annual science fair as part of…

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…

Joshua Rosenau Deserves a Medal

I’ve grown thoroughly disgusted with most of the science-vs-religion stuff in blogdom, mostly because my views on the matter are kind of moderate, and don’t fit well with the rather extreme positions taken by most of the bloggers and commenters who focus on this issue. This dooms me to either being ignored, or called names…

Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson

This book is, in some ways, a complement to Unscientific America. Subtitled “Talking Substance in an Age of Style,” this is a book talking about what scientists need to do to improve the communication of science to the general public. This is not likely to make as big a splash in blogdom as Unscientific America,…

… to write a guest post at the Science and Entertainment Exchange blog. So I did, on science communication: I was asked to write a guest-blog post about “increased incentives for scientists to develop their communications skills.” I’m happy to oblige, but in typical ornery-blogger fashion, the first thing I want to do is take…

I’ve been really surprised at the number of people writing about Unscientific America who are confused by the discussion of the Pluto incident (Mad Mike is the latest, but it’s not hard to find more). For those who haven’t read the book, the first chapter opens with a description of the public reaction to the…

This isn’t actually about a literal or metaphorical smackdown– it’s more about a distinction in language, related to a number of the comments that have been made regarding Unscientific America. (Yeah, I know. I’ll find something else to talk about soon.) The issue is most clearly laid out by Janet, who writes: In addition to…

The most unfortunate thing about the furor over Unscientific America is that the vast majority of the shouting concerns a relatively small portion of the actual argument of the book. Far too much attention is being spent on the question of whether Chris and Sheril are fair to Myers and Dawkins, and not nearly enough…