Category Archive: Communicating science

Jan 30 2014

Speaking at the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota

I do sometimes get out and spend some time with the little branch campuses of my university. On 5 February, at 3:30 in 335 Borlaug Hall, I’ll be talking about… How can you change the culture if you won’t join the conversation? Science and social media The values of scientists often poorly align with some …

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Jan 08 2014

Sikivu tells it like it is

She tears into a phenomenon that bothers me, too: white evangelical ministers jumping ship for atheism, being embraced by atheists, and tainting atheism with the Christian culture. In particular, there’s this awful parasite, Ryan Bell, who’s only just trying out atheism for a year, which is simply ridiculous — it’s not a set of superficial …

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Dec 19 2013

Removing the cloud of discrimination from conversations about science

It’s always nice to hear the grown ups talking. Last night on Virtually Speaking Science, Tom Levenson interviewed Janet Stemwedel and Maryn McKenna on the subject of science writers and sexual harassment/gender discrimination. I listened to it while I was grading papers, and I think it may have contributed half a grade point or so …

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Dec 10 2013

A new journal

It’s true that science publishing has some serious problems — can you access the latest results from federally funded research? Do you think Science and Nature are really the best science journals in the world? — so it’s good that some people are taking the lead in changing their approaches and developing alternative publishing models. …

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Dec 03 2013

Women and science on youtube

Emily Graslie asks where the women promoting science on youtube are, and then answers her own question: they’re out there, but youtube is not exactly an inviting environment, especially for women, because of (and she does not phrase it this rudely, but I will) all of the assholes infesting the place. I’m not a woman …

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Nov 25 2013

The women writers speak

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the strangely bland and cursory coverage of the women’s panel at NASW. Now you can watch the panel for yourself and judge whether it was adequate or not.

Nov 14 2013

You know I’m a sucker for heresy

So you won’t be surprised that I really like that Erin Podolak has asked, Can We Stop Talking About Carl Sagan? It feels like I’m committing an act of science communication sacrilege here, but I have a confession to make: Carl Sagan means absolutely nothing to me. No more than any other dude from my …

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Nov 01 2013

If you can’t get rid of garbage, worship it

Every time you use a plastic bag at the grocery store or buy another bottle of water you are contributing to the deluge of one-use, throw-away plastic products that pile up in our landfills or float out to sea. One group in Baton Rouge is trying to raise consciousness with Sacred Waste, a performance art …

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Oct 23 2013

Do better. Please just do better.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the community of science bloggers, with the abrupt downfall of Bora Zivkovic, a very well liked (I consider him a friend) and influential leader. If you haven’t been following it, here’s a summary and timeline of recent events. The simple version of the whole story is that …

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Oct 19 2013



I spent my first evening at the Paradigm Symposium last night. I’ve missed virtually all of the talks so far — I got to watch a panel about new media, podcasting and that sort of thing, and there wasn’t too much novelty to it, but it was fine…except for the bits where they mentioned how …

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