Science is Culture

Archives for July, 2010

Stephen Schneider Remembered

Stephen Schneider, a friend of Seed’s and a giant of climate science, passed away yesterday. He was 65. Stephen participated in a Seed Salon a few years ago with Laurie David. I just re-read it and found this quote: “My students are always asking, ‘Aren’t you frustrated to death? Nothing you do makes any immediate…

So

It’s summer and Seed’s running a few classic articles online. This weekend, read about “So”… The language of science, with its specialized vocabulary and clipped rhythm, has a distinctive architecture. The functional elegance of this rarefied speak is uniquely captured in one of its most inconspicuous words: “so.” This isn’t “so” the intensifier (“so expensive”);…

A Milestone for Open Science

I just read that MIT’s ground-breaking OpenCourseWare initiative passed the 2,000-course mark this month. That’s a lot of free lectures, course notes, and videos from some of the best scientific minds of the planet… First announced in 2001, MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is an ambitious effort to share MIT’s education resources freely and openly on the…

The Galleys Are In!

I just received a box of “Science is Culture” galleys from HarperCollins — it’s pretty exciting… Here’s a sneak peek.

Are Humans Homogenizing the World?

From The Atlantic‘s Niraj Chokshi: “Seed magazine explores the idea that humans are eradicating cultural, language and species differences. Rates of species extinction have grown by as much as 10,000 because of us and half of the world’s languages are expected to vanish by the end of the century. A worthwhile read.” Even before we’ve…

Kim Bottomly, Wellesley College’s 13th President, discusses the importance of making science a core skill in various professional fields, and how to engage more women in this effort. (via Atlantic Ideas Festival)

Making Movies

I’ve had this quote up on my wall since the very beginning. “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” – Walt Disney I think it probably also rings true for many scientists. We ran a department in Seed for a couple of years called “Why I Do Science”…

State of the Scientist

Steve Shapin, Professor of the History of Science at Harvard, and author of the excellent book, A Scientific Life, wrote an essay for Seed in 2008 on the state of the scientist that has new relevance. In one sense, the enfolding of science in structures that produce wealth and project power is just a sign…

The Medium is the Medium?

Here’s David Brooks in today’s New York Times Right now, the literary world is better at encouraging this kind of identity. The Internet culture may produce better conversationalists, but the literary culture still produces better students. It’s better at distinguishing the important from the unimportant, and making the important more prestigious. Perhaps that will change.…

Science is Culture

After hosting blogs for four years, it’s about time I started my own. So, welcome! Let me begin with a bit about me and what I believe. I believe that science has the unique potential to improve the state of the world. I think this potential is being hindered today by a lack of science…