Science & Society

How do we fix science journalism ? Simple: we don't. We let it sink, and be reborn in a different form.

It is rather utopic to insist that in a world of changing means of communications, a world where printed matter is losing ground to the advantage of electronic media, the diffusion of scientific information may or shall stay the same.
We have the Rust Belt and Bible Belt and Sun Belt and Dairy Belt and Corn Belt and all sorts of other belts in the US, but this is the first I've heard of the Beer Belt. Or, more appropriately, the Beer Belly.

The geniuses behind my most recent obsession, the blog FloatingSheep.org, used Google Maps to create a map of the country showing where, if you really love bars, you should live.

References to bars versus grocery stories
A Woeful Lack Of Candour


In a recent article I wrote: Godfrey Bloom MEP bemoans the fact that:


"There appears to be a woeful lack of candour and commonsense in modern day politicians."


Godfrey Bloom is an MEP - a politician.  His party is called UKIP.  Godfrey Bloom has so many Google hits that, even if you search for someone famous, up pops a 'UKIP In the Media' result from his website.  Why would that be?  How can it happen?
A Classic Waste Of Breath

An argument that a thing is natural, therefore not a cause of concern, is used greatly in modern times, most especially in connection with the arguments over whether or not we puny humans can interfere with natural environmental cycles.  Such arguments can look good on the face of things.

The naturalistic argument goes back at least to Ancient Greece. 

In the art of misleading an audience with a seemingly open-and-shut case it really is a classic.
Do scientists hate scientists who talk to the public?

From an old piece by Jared Diamond:
If you want to have staying power on the Internet, you need to have turnover, says a new analysis published in the Proceedings of the 2010 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work.

Not only do you need to be 'heterogeneous', you need to be diverse.   
Godfrey Bloom Demands Re-evaluation Of IPCC Re-evaluation


Godfrey Bloom MEP bemoans the fact that:

"There appears to be a woeful lack of candour and commonsense in modern day politicians."

UK Parliament Debates Climate Science Report



If somebody is in favor of making our planet a better place to live, you can bet your life that somebody with a louder voice is against it. 

Demonstrating that, at least in political attitudes to science, there really is
'nothing new under the sun', I present highlights of a UK Parliament debate on the undesirability of pollution controls.
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In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of California, San Diego and Harvard say they have provided the first laboratory evidence that cooperative behavior is contagious.

 Researchers showed that when one person gave money to help others in a "public-goods game," where people had the opportunity to cooperate with each other, the recipients were more likely to give their own money away to other people in future games. This created a domino effect in which one person's generosity spread first to three people and then to the nine people that those three people interact with in the future, and then to still other individuals in subsequent waves of the experiment.