Science & Society
Many of the biggest breakthroughs in science come from unexpected directions. Many revolutions come from unknown almost unfunded scientist working in obscurity. How can politicians in Washington know what kind of energy research will make that next big breakthrough? They cannot! So what will they do? Spend money on whatever political paradigm got them the votes they needed, or sounds good to their constituents.
A warm-up program that focuses on improving strength, balance, core stability and muscular awareness cuts injury in female footballers by a third and severe injuries by almost a half, according to research published on bmj.com today.
In an accompanying editorial, John Brooks an injury expert for the Rugby Football Union, says that people participating in any sport at all levels should adopt a warm-up program like this to reduce injury. Previous studies investigating the effect of warming up on the risk of injury have focused on key warm-up elements — raising the core temperature, stretching the muscles used, and conducting movement specific exercises — but the effect on injury has been unclear until now.
As December moves along, we're going to be adding a lot of stuff (we hope) but two things are just about ready for prime time - and that's how you can help.
University of Oregon sociologist Aliya Saperstein and sociologist Andrew M. Penner of the University of California, Irvine have a new twist on race - it isn't just appearance but socioeconomic status, they say. Their new study says that Americans who are unemployed, incarcerated or impoverished today are more likely to be classified and identified as black, by themselves or by others, regardless of how they were seen -- or self identified -- in the past.
New data from The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University demonstrate that many women think condoms undermine sexual pleasure, but those who use both hormonal contraception and condoms report higher overall sexual satisfaction.
The study authors suggest that this inconsistency reflects how women think about their contraceptive method when asked questions about two different aspects of sexuality -- sexual enjoyment and overall sexual satisfaction.
When considering overall sexual satisfaction, which goes beyond the immediate sexual moment and includes factors such as sexual self-esteem and relationship satisfaction, women who used both condoms and hormonal methods reported the highest levels of sexual satisfaction.
Via Larry at Sandwalk
, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is excited about Facebook, YouTube, and Blogs
What does this have to do with science? Like Larry, I'm still skeptical of what impact this has on what I do in the lab:
Speaking of science and religion, I got significantly annoyed by a short piece in Nature magazine by Michael Bond (13 November 2008). Bond reviews two recent books on Buddhism and science: “Mind and Life: Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality,” by Pier Luigi Luisi, and “Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed,” by Donald S. Lopez.
The approaching holiday season lends itself to some odd thoughts. Our modern calendar is great. A calendar year is only offset from the orbit of the Earth by about 6 hours. It has tremendous advantages over more ancient methods. Apparently in Ancient Rome, it was considered a major achievement to get the calendar to line up with the seasons, even if that required adding months named after oneself.
Four living presidential science advisors, Democrats Drs. John H. Gibbons and Neal F. Lane and Republicans Drs. Edward E. David and John. P. McTague, have written an article called "Making a Critical Connection: Science Advice and the Next President", which highlights the need for the swift appointment of a science advisor whom President-elect Barack Obama trusts.
In case you have not heard, CNN is shutting down its science/space/environment/tech unit
. This is simply one more piece of evidence that scientists are going to have to take communication with the public into their own hands. Fortunately, we have this whole New Media thing going.