Science & Society

On the 12th July 2010, I was watching Rich Hall's 'The Dirty South'.  The programme trailer says:
Rich Hall sets his keen eye and acerbic wit on his homeland once again as he sifts truth from fiction in Hollywood's version of the southern states of the USA. Using specially shot interviews and featuring archive footage from classic movies such as Gone With The Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire and Deliverance, Rich discovers a South that is about so much more than just rednecks, racism and hillbillies.
It has been a few weeks since I originally published "The Skeptical Boys Club" on the significant under-representation of women in Skepticism[1]. It generated some serious response, criticism, and discussion. At the time, I tried to focus the article on the information I gathered, but tried to restrict the injection of my personal motivations for being interested, my thoughts on possible causes, and my thoughts on possible solutions. In the first case, those motivations were not immediately relevant.
Survivalism, British Style

John Christopher’s 1956 No Blade of Grass is an extremely compelling page turner that portrays our moral traditions and social glue as being so fragile that they can be swept away in a day. Compassion, mercy, and even friendliness are not as hard-wired as we would hope, and they quickly dissolve when the urgency of survival forces us to view all other people as competitors.
I happened to be reading Howard Bloom's book The Genius of the Beast when I saw something odd happening in social media - there was a minor blow up on a science blogging site called over a new column that would be written by people from Pepsi, which threatened to become a major blow-up because of social media, and it got me thinking about re-purposing and symbol stacks.
Mercola, webster of woo, he of the get your vitamin D through our tanning bed fame, has a new post up at Huffington Post.
Post-apocalyptic Fundamentalism

Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow is one of many post-apocalyptic novels that envision society returned to a 19th century agrarian state. The rural settings of these novels are commonly used to explore life in a society driven by fear, fear or technology, or change, or those who are different. A society based on fear of technology is what Leigh Brackett explores here.
Nature is never inexplicable
As a younger, unmarried man I wanted to visit Sweden, but more for the volleyball team than for the science(1), but since I don't want to find out if there 'are other fish in the sea' these days I might instead like to go to Kosterhavet Marine National Park.
Alien Invasion and Evolutionary Succession

The possibility of human extinction in End of the World sci-fi is sometimes paired with a consideration of our next evolutionary step - a concept that is less scientific than it sounds (evolution shouldn't be considered in such linear terms), but one that does make an effective fictional tool for thinking about human impermanence.
A survey taken by the Science and Technology Facilities Council says their funded PhD students have high employment rates and above average salaries.

Since 2007, STFC has funded over 250 new students each year and 200 new students each year prior to that.  The latest study provides a snapshot of the career paths of these former PhD students and an examination of long-term career outcomes after postgraduate training. 
The study reveals that 97% of the respondents who gained a PhD with STFC were in full- or part-time employment and 70% were still engaged in scientific research in the UK or internationally.  

Of the 27% of respondents who decided to go into the private sector, the majority went into the business or financial