Science Education & Policy

Frenkel and his loverThe erotic video Rites of Love and Math caught my eye on a Colbert interview.

Books Small PictureThese tips will help researchers for whom English is a second language, and who work at universities and research institutes where the international publishing culture is still young. 

I was enthralled by reading the latest post by Greg Kotkowski on the Amva4NewPhysics blog. He has something to teach us all about how we should be rational and use our knowledge to address everyday problems, rather than follow the groupthink and be driven to take irrational measures.
Have a look at it and let me know if you liked it!

Video games are a favorite activity of children, yet any affect on their health is often perceived to be negative.

A new paper in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology looked for an association between the amount of time spent playing video games and children's mental health and cognitive and social skills, and found that playing video games may have positive effects on young children. 


The issue is not new. Scientific journals require articles to produce quantitative answers - of course, that's how you do science. And scientists usually rely on a formalism based on classical statistics to report those results: they report the probability of their data given some hypothesis. P-values, that is.
Deputy Attorney General, Sally Yates, made what might be considered a historic announcement at the recent annual gathering of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Summarizing the results of a multi-disciplinary review of forensic hair tests conducted by the FBI laboratory over many years, Yates claimed that 90% of those reviews showed evidence that FBI scientists erred during their court testimony - that perhaps FBI representatives overstated the significance of their findings or suggested that the forensic results were more incriminating than they actually were.  

“For those of us who believe in science,you simply cannot ignore what the scientific community is saying almost unanimously.”

A new study reports that current rising temperatures already noticeably load the 'climate dice', with growing practical impacts. As a bottom line, lead author D. James Hansen argues in Environmental Research Letters that a carbon fee is needed to spur replacement of carbon fuels with clean energy. Why won't this make anti-science groups like Greenpeace and Union of Concerned Scientists happy? Hansen believes nuclear energy is part of the broad solution to less fossil fuels, which flies in the face of modern environmentalism, which dislikes nuclear and natural gas.


The Louisiana Scholarship Program has widely varying effects on students, according to a series of studies released jointly by the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas and the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University.

The studies address the effects of the Louisiana voucher program on the achievement and non-cognitive skills of voucher recipients, as well as broader effects on school segregation and public school students. It is the first evaluation to examine such a wide range of outcomes, or to consider the effects over the first two years of this specific program. Key findings include:


Last year, 6 million tons of “wood pellets” harvested from forests in Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Virginia were shipped across the Atlantic, to be burnt in renewable “biomass” power plants.

This was almost double the 2013 figure. The US “wood pellet” industry is booming.