Society

Category archives for Society

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.…

Faitheist by Chris Stedman

I started following Chris Stedman on Twitter thanks to a recommendation from Josh Rosenau citing him as someone who promotes atheism without being contemptous of religious people. He was, indeed, a source of religion-and-politics material that I found congenial, and when I noticed he was flogging a forthcoming book, I picked up a copy, which…

On the Time for Talking

As I’m sure you wish you hadn’t heard, there was another school shooting in Connecticut on Friday, one that was hellishly awful even by the standards of such things. The Internet, of course, instantly exploded with the depressingly predictable standard response. And it’s hard to put into words just how depressing it is that there’s…

In the comments to yesterday’s post about college admissions, Joseph Yoon quoted my statement that “I’m somewhat sympathetic to claims that Asians have a difficult position in higher education,” and shot back with: I wonder if you will feel more strongly about this in 10 years when your kids are near college. Will you advise…

In which we compare a couple of different systems for evaluating teachers, looking at what’s involved in doing a fair assessment of a teacher’s performance. ——– Another casualty of the great blog upgrade, in the sense of a post that was delayed until the inspiration for it has been forgotten by most of the people…

Trickle Down Science

A week or so ago, lots of people were linking to this New York Review of Books article by Steven Weinberg on “The Crisis of Big Science,” looking back over the last few decades of, well, big science. It’s somewhat dejected survey of whopping huge experiments, and the increasing difficulty of getting them funded, including…

Bad Reporting About Women in STEM

This is apparently my day to be annoyed at the reporting of pieces about gender differences in STEM, because a bunch of people are linking to this PBS NewsHour article about women in engineering, which is linked to an interview with Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College, who I ran across a few weeks back…

Somebody on Twitter linked this article about “brogrammers”, which is pretty much exactly as horrible as that godawful neologism suggests. In between descriptions of some fairly appalling behavior, though, they throw some stats at you, and that’s where it gets weird: As it is, women remain acutely underrepresented in the coding and engineering professions. According…