Results tagged “Science” from onegoodmove

Origins Project: The Storytelling of Science

Make some time on your Sunday, I promise this is worth it. It's not straight up science, it's STORYTELLING!!!

The Storytelling of Science will feature a panel of esteemed scientists, public intellectuals, and award-winning writers including well-known science educator Bill Nye, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, theoretical physicist Brian Greene, Science Friday's Ira Flatow, popular science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, executive director of the World Science Festival Tracy Day, and Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss as they discuss the stories behind cutting edge science from the origin of the universe to a discussion of exciting technologies that will change our future. They will demonstrate how to convey the excitement of science and the importance helping promote a public understanding of science.

The second part is where this happened. There is some lively debate between Neil Tyson (of course) and pretty much everyone else. He seems to win just cause he's bigger.

Dawkins: "Science - It works,..."

Reference ( ← Hope you didn't have to click on this to get it.)


This Year in Official Announcements: Scientific Government Organizations

Yep, good year for mainstream science communication. And I see people asking for more god and less science in schools.

Oh, hey! And this:

Sagan Teaching Schoolchildren About the Universe

This was just posted on Facebook by the Kepler mission guys. Very inspiring commentary.

Sagan visits his old elementary school and tells the children: "By the time that you people are as old as I am, we should know for all the nearest stars whether they have planets going around them or not. We might know dozens or even hundreds of other planetary systems and see if they are like our own... or very different.. or if no other planets are going around the stars at all... That will hapen in your lifetime and will be the first time in the history of the world that anybody found out REALLY if there are planets around the other stars." He was right (though the techniques he describes are not those that have been most commonly employed as of yet). Many of us working on the Kepler team were about the same age as those children at the time of the filming. And now, we are about Carl's age at the time of the filming. It's our wish that the children of today will be inspired by Kepler's discoveries and the prospect that in their lifetime, we should know of a world that could harbor life -- that one day soon we might know of world that DOES harbor life. Have a great weekend everyone!

Scale of the Universe (2)

This is impressive enough, and it's gone viral.

Scale of the Universe 2

But even better, Cary Huang is a 14-year-old. Story here

"My seventh grade science teacher showed us a size comparison video on cells, and I thought it was fascinating. I decided to make my own interactive version that included a much larger range of sizes,"[...]

Cary said he worked on the project, on and off, for a year and a half, getting information from Wikipedia and astronomy books.

The Infinite Monkey Cage: Science vs. the Supernatural

Science V The Supernatural: Does Science Kill the Magic? Robin Ince and Brian Cox are joined on stage by actor and magician Andy Nyman, psychologist Richard Wiseman and neuroscientist Bruce Hood as they take on the paranormal. They'll be looking at some of the more popular claims of supernatural goings on, and asking whether a belief in ghosts, psychic abilities and other other-worldly phenomena, is just a bit of harmless fun, or whether there are more worrying implications in a belief in the paranormal.

Says Brian Cox about this episode:

Just heard we got complaints about @themonkeycage - lack of BBC balance about ghosts - there are some utter nobbers out there !Tue Jul 05 14:23:33 via TweetDeck

Me says: I totally fell for that experiment at about 14 min, but in the opposite way. I guess I'm just a contrarian. Try it out!

Links With Your Coffee - Sunday

Coffee Cup

It's hardly a secret that large segments of the population choose not to accept scientific data because it conflicts with their predefined beliefs: economic, political, religious, or otherwise. But many studies have indicated that these same people aren't happy with viewing themselves as anti-science, which can create a state of cognitive dissonance. That has left psychologists pondering the methods that these people use to rationalize the conflict.

Ten years on from the revelation that scientists had cracked the human genome, the phenomenal capacity of modern computers is starting to exploit the potential of that discovery for the fight against disease

TO PIN one big evolutionary shift on a particular molecule is ambitious. To pin two on it is truly audacious. Yet doing so was just one of the ideas floating around at “A Celebration of DHA” in London this week. The celebration in question was a scientific meeting, rather than a festival. It was definitely, however, a love-in. It was held on May 26th and 27th at the Royal Society of Medicine to discuss the many virtues of docosahexaenoic acid, the most important of that fashionable class of dietary chemicals, the omega-3 fatty acids.

Missing women police find remains

Like Missing comma, police decide to hire a grammarian, or Missing his mom, Joe called home? No, wait a minute, this isn't about the police missing womanly company — those first two words are not a gerund-participial predicative adjunct. Could missing be a modifier of women police, then? The remains were found in a remote area by some female police officers who had been reported as missing? A bit implausible. What about find? Is that really a tensed verb with plural agreement? Could it be a noun instead (as in a new find), with remains being the main clause verb, as in Paul Simon's line the roots of rhythm remain? No; it's not making any sense at all. You just can't figure out a plausible story.

Industry Friendly

The term "industry friendly," or "pro-industry," is often used as an insult, a term of derision, it is commonly heard these days in response to appeals to authority, and sometimes it's justified. It is reasonable to consider that those with a financial interest, or some other personal interest may be biased, and because of that bias, dishonest.

T Edward Damer author of Attacking Faulty Reasoning: A Practical Guide to Fallacy-Free Arguments adds a caveat:

In determining whether an authority is biased, you should be careful not to disqualify a source too quickly by claiming that he or she is prejudiced. Unfortunately, it is all too common a practice to find or fabricate some reason why the judgment of almost any authority might be biased. Such a charge should be registered against an authority who is otherwise qualified only when the possibility of bias is clear and might impede the discovery of the truth. If you suspect that an authority may have a conflict of interest, you might point out the presence of that possible conflict, without in any way accusing the authority of either bias or dishonesty. That will at least get the issue out on the table so that it can be directly addressed. p. 104 Attacking Faulty Reasoning- Damer

Merrilee Salmon in the book Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking says:

It is reasonable to take the word of an authority if

(i) the authority is an expert on the matter under consideration, and

(ii) there is agreement among experts in the area of knowledge under consideration.

It is also worth remembering that even though an argument is made by an authority, an expert in a field, the argument may very well stand entirely on its own. If the form is correct and the evidence provided is verifiable and supports the conclusion, then it's not an appeal to authority. The fact that the argument is made by an authority is irrelevant, and so to is any possible bias.

There are entire PR organizations with their troop of advisors who contribute daily to the flood of misinformation, distortion, and half-truths. It happens on both sides of almost any question, but simply making the charge "industry friendly," or "tree-hugger," is not enough, one still needs to consider the argument.

There are some who think that any connection, however remote, however insignificant, and with no evidence that the claimed bias results in any dishonesty, is grounds for leveling the "industry friendly" charge as if that should be the end of the conversation. I'm not sure they'd even be satisfied with six degrees of separation.

I recently received an email from a reader charging Pam Ronald, with being "industry friendly," as a term of derision, he wrote:

Pam Ronald, who, according to the about-the-author blurb on the back of Tomorrow's Table, works for something called the Joint Bioenergy Institute, which is a research division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which, in turn, receives research grants from the DOE, which, in turn, has a history of carrying water for big oil, nuclear and coal companies.

The implication seems clear, she too carries water for big oil, nuclear and coal companies. He provides no evidence of such complicity, he doesn't demonstrate her bias by citing anything she's written, nor does he provide evidence that anything she'd said demonstrated the bias, for him it was enough that she had any connection to industry however remote. Contrast that with Orac who accused the ACSH of having a distinct pro-industry bias. He spelled it out and he gave examples of the bias in action.

I asked Pam Ronald for a response to my readers charge, she wrote:

Well, if we exclude non-profit government agencies (NSF, NIH, USDA and DOE) from funding scientific research in non-profit institutions then who will fund basic research in the US?

If we exclude these agencies (that have made US science the best and most envied in the world) then the only groups left to fund scientific research are for-profit corporations (eg big Oil and monsanto) and non-profits like Bill Gates.

Here is a recent piece that appeared in the New York Times by Pam Ronald and James E. McWilliams, does it sound like they're carrying water for industry? It doesn't to me, It sounds like a well-balanced article on an important topic.

Remember all arguments need to be evaluated independently of their source, since even a biased source may be correct.

Richard Dawkins: If Science Worked Like Religion

You Can't Trust Science

(tip to southern builder)

The Real News: The Age Of Science And Discovery

Dawkins at His Best

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives

(tip to Joel)

Mr. Deity And The Equation

Chris Matthews 'Destroys' GOP Rep. Mike Pence On Evolution/Science Question

Introduction to Nanoscience

Narrated by Alan Alda, this introduction to nanoscience gives us a brief overview of the field and illuminates some of the interesting questions being currently researched.

tip to Patrick

Faith Based Science

From the March 25, 2009 hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

tip to Genève

more here

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin


The Problem With Anecdotes

Skewed Views of Science

(tip to Kairotic Laughter