Category Archive: Communicating science

Apr 09 2014

Brilliance and brainlessness — that’s the interwebs

I just want to point you at this beautiful graphic illustrating the depth at which the Malaysian Flight 370 black box rests. The ocean is really, really deep, you know. And sometimes a well-designed visual communicates the magnitude of the problem well. The other side of the problem: read the comments, and you’ll suddenly appreciate …

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Apr 03 2014

It’s been a bad month for the creationists


I almost pity them. First there’s the discovery of gravitational waves that confirm a set of models for the origin of the universe — I can tell they’re trying to spin that one (it confirms the universe had a beginning, just like the Bible says!), but it’s obvious which perspective, scientific or religious, has the …

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Mar 25 2014

Tonight! In Morris!

In addition to be buried deep in grading, tonight I’m hosting our monthly Cafe Scientifique. The next Café Scientifique will take place on Tuesday, March 25, at 6 p.m., at the Common Cup Coffeehouse (501 Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267). Brad Heins, assistant professor of organic dairy management at the University of Minnesota’s West Central …

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Mar 24 2014

Guess who’s speaking at the NSTA National Conference


The featured speaker at this year’s National Science Teacher Association conference in Boston is…Mayim Bialik. The lucky ones among you are saying right now, “who?”. Others may know her from her television work, but maybe don’t know the full story behind her ‘science’ activism. She’s an actor who plays Sheldon’s girlfriend on Big Bang Theory. …

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Mar 23 2014

Still picking nits over Giordano Bruno

The NCSE, which does good work otherwise, is a bit too apologetic to religion for my taste. They’re bumbling all over themselves to criticize Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos because it highlighted the conflict between religion and science, which is always a no-no for the NCSE. Now it’s Josh Rosenau’s turn to complain bitterly about the …

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Mar 18 2014

In praise of rudeness

You may have heard that the replicability of much biomedical research has been called into question, in particular by the Ioannidis paper in 2005 that demonstrated that a heck of a lot of junk got into print, largely as a consequence of statistical noise being treated as significant, for a host of reasons. It was …

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Mar 16 2014

COSMOS reminder

I think it’s incredibly sweet that last week Neil deGrasse Tyson premiered COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey for my birthday, and the second episode is on tonight…just in time for my 34th wedding anniversary. It’s amazing how the entire universe revolves around me.

Mar 15 2014

Missing the point of Giordano Bruno

I’m seeing a lot of silly carping about Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos — almost all of it is focused on the story of Bruno told in the first episode. The apologists for religion are upset: how dare a science program point out the poisonous influence of religion? Bruno wasn’t really a scientist anyway, so he …

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Mar 11 2014

So you missed Cosmos?

No problem. Full episodes of COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey are available online. This may be a better way to watch it than the commercial-laden version on broadcast TV.

Mar 09 2014

Cosmos: Thumbs up!

It’s off to a good start, and I quite enjoyed the first episode. It was maybe a bit heavy on the simplifications and the eye-popping graphics, but I’m seeing it as a tool to inspire a younger generation to get excited about science again, so I think that actually is a good thing. It’s also …

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