The Scientific Activist

Archives for July, 2008

Water on Mars, Part 2

Below is the second part of my interview with planetary geologist Bethany Ehlmann. In the first part, she discussed two of her recent papers on Martian geology (see citations below). In this segment, she discusses water on Mars more generally. Bethany Ehlmann Nick Anthis: Would it be possible to briefly take our readers through the…

Water on Mars, Part 1

Planetary geology is a fascinating area–particularly when it pertains to the search for extraterrestrial life. I wrote about it once during my brief stint as a student science writer, but it’s not an area that I’ve really covered on my blog. However, a former colleague of mine from Oxford, Bethany Ehlmann, was recently involved with…

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), which is responsible for higher education in the UK, is seeking feedback to help it develop its new science strategy. The DIUS has put together a website for this purpose: interactive.dius.gov.uk/scienceandsociety/. There, you can read its latest report, comment on various sections of the report, or provide…

For those of my readers in the UK (or anywhere else where you have access to Sky News), I’ll be appearing live on Sky News at about 10:30 11:30 BST this Friday to talk about Barack Obama’s visit to the UK and his support among Americans living abroad. I’m not sure if the video will…

When I published my review of Sizzle yesterday, I felt like adding a reluctant-parent-disciplinarian-esque “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” qualifier. Although I felt that Randy Olson’s heart was in the right place, I just didn’t have many positive things to say about his new movie, and I wasn’t too…

Sizzle? More of a Simmer

Today, science bloggers from across the web (and particularly here at ScienceBlogs) are reviewing Sizzle, a new film by Randy Olson, maker of Flock of Dodos. Sizzle, billed as a “global warming comedy” is part mockumentary and part documentary, and in that sense is difficult to pin down. And, intentionally or not, this confusion emerges…

My Policy on Comments and Emails

My main overriding goal here at The Scientific Activist is to publicize and comment on issues that I feel are important–particularly issues that would otherwise be under- or misreported in the media. In doing so, I hope to spark productive conversations on these issues, and one place in which such conversations can occur are in…

Death of a Pioneer

Legendary heart surgeon Michael DeBakey passed away Friday night at the age of 99. From the Houston Chronicle: Medical statesman, chancellor emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine, and a surgeon at The Methodist Hospital since 1949, DeBakey trained thousands of surgeons over several generations, achieving legendary status decades before his death. During his career, he…

More on Animal Rights Extremism

Earlier today, I posted a review of The Animal Research War, which details the lengths that animal rights extremists are willing to go to in order to further their cause. Coincidently, the AP yesterday published a detailed article on the rise of animal rights extremism in the US. Here’s a taste: In the hills above…

The Animal Research War by P. Michael Conn and James V. Parker Palgrave Macmillan: 2008, 224 pages. Buy now! (Amazon) In a dark room, buried in a nondescript building somewhere in London, an orderly array of new trainees sits silently, listening intently as a senior police official delivers a security briefing. Clicking through slide after…