The Scientific Activist

Archives for June, 2008

When my girlfriend told me that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had suggested that Barack Obama choose Chet Edwards–my former (and George W. Bush’s current) congressman–as his running mate, I thought she was pulling my leg. But, she was serious, and–as usual–she was right. Here’s the video from Newsweek (although you can watch commercial-free…

Apparently, the Bush Administration has adopted a sophisticated new strategy for not dealing with global warming. From The New York Times: White House Refused to Open Pollutants E-Mail The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an…

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, a case regarding the Navy conducting sonar training exercises in the proximity of marine mammals–some of which are threatened or endangered species. A large body of evidence indicates that these sorts of sonar exercises–which generate extremely loud underwater sounds–damage the hearing…

I’ve been pretty open here about my support of Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency, but one issue I certainly disagree with him on is his support of corn ethanol subsidies. Unfortunately, it looks like that this is one issue he’s unlikely to improve on, as The New York Times reports today that ties to…

The Future of the Internet

This evening, I was watching The Colbert Report–a show that, along with The Daily Show, I’ve been enjoying much more frequently lately since they began posting full (free and internationally-available) episodes online–and I stumbled across this interview from last night’s show with Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of internet law at Oxford:

A Shout-Out From CJR

Just a bit of self-promotion here, but on Friday I got a nice mention by Curtis Brainard in the Columbia Journalism Review blog The Kicker: Yesterday, The Scientific Activist blog (part of the ScienceBlogs.com community) carried a keen-eyed piece of media criticism, turning the rating scheme of The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog back on…

A report by the NASA inspector general released earlier this week acknowledged that political appointees in the NASA press office censored climate scientists from 2004 to 2006. That would have been interesting news… about two years ago. Yawn. What caught my eye, though, were these claims in an article by The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin:…

Yesterday, I blogged about a recent article correlating a nation’s research output related to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with its policies on hESC research. There was one particular source of uncertainty, though: As Levine points out, he didn’t actually count papers that published results on hESCs, but papers that cited the original hESC paper.…

The conclusion stated in the title of this post may seem painfully obvious, but a new study published in Cell Stem Cell by Aaron Levine (assistant professor at Georgia Tech and author of Cloning: A Beginner’s Guide) backs it up with some hard data. To come to this conclusion, Levine compared a country’s output of…

Last night was a historic night, with Barack Obama finally effectively clinching the Democratic nomination by surpassing the “magic number” of required delegates. Barring any last-minute fight over delegate rules from Hillary Clinton’s campaign (something that I think is not likely to happen), Barack Obama in the Democrats’ nominee. Of course, we knew from the…