law

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for law

Blinded by Legalese

Arguably the biggest news story of the week was the release by the Obama Administration of four Justice Department memos from 2002 and 2005 that were used to justify CIA torture of detainees. An analysis by Jeffrey Smith in today’s Washington Post tries to explain the context and the mindset that led to the twisted…

I guess this just goes to show how out of touch I am with things going on in Texas after being gone for almost three years. I didn’t know until I saw it on a ScienceBlogs homepage buzz that Chris Comer–who was forced out of her job as the Texas Education Agency’s director of science…

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…

The arguably wacky premise behind a New York Times article this Saturday is that the Large Hadron Collider (LHR)–slated to be the world’s most impressive particle accelerator when it’s up and running later this year–could inadvertently produce an Earth-destroying black hole. Or, that’s at least what a couple of guys in Hawaii think, and they’re…

The Guardian reports today that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, raised eyebrows last night when he suggested that the UK ought to recognize sharia law. Sharia law, or Islamic law, forms the basis of the legal systems in Islamic theocracies, but is often practiced informally within other societies, particularly on matters such as marriage…

Shelley in Newsweek

Newsweek has a story online today about a passage, in a book published by Wiley, that was recently discovered to have been plagiarized (D’oh!) from Wikipedia. Fellow ScienceBlogger Shelley of Retrospectacle gets a mention, though, for her run-in with Wiley earlier this year over her inclusion of a few figures from a Journal of the…

Mandatory sentencing laws are disliked by many, and for good reason. Judges often criticize these laws for taking away their judicial sovereignty, while others decry the inherent disparity in which they affect minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status. They often lead to inordinately severe punishments for arguably minor, generally drug-related, crimes. The good news…