Science & Society

For days now, scientists and science blogs tell us not to worry about Japan’s nuclear reactors. Nothing can happen; no radiation will be released, all is fine. We are treated to false experts even, to one-sided rants of somebody who studied risk management in corporations, published originally on a business friendly website.

Japan's Nuclear Emergency - The Straight Goods - Update

The latest reports coming from Japan indicate that the current nuclear emergency is not as great as some people had feared it might be.

Despite some media reports: there have been no reactor explosions.  Period.

Radiation levels are falling, according to the most recent news release by the Japanese government.
The online disability rights and autism advocacy movements intersect, with appeals from the autism advocacy movement appealing to the larger disability rights movement. Recently, a new petition has been started by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network calling for individuals to "Tell the CDC 'No' on Abuse-Enabling 'Wandering' Code!" 

If you want clicks, then now is the time to write about earthquakes and nuclear disasters. That is why Science 2.0 has now an article telling us how great it is that the quake hit Japan, because Japan is so well prepared, and this is mostly thanks to the good folks from science and technology, so no wonder there are only a mere 1000 dead to count. Another article presents us with press releases of Japanese nuclear reactor officials trying to calm the panic.

Update: For the latest bulletins, please see my new article:
Japan's Nuclear Emergency - The Straight Goods - Update

original post begins here:
Japan's Nuclear Emergency - The Straight Goods

There is much speculative and inaccurate reporting in the world's media regarding the problems caused to nuclear power facilities in Japan by the recent earthquake.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company - TEPCO - is releasing frequent updates on the emergency situation which followed the earthquake.
Japan Quake - Media Up To Mischief

Edit - this blog entry is now out of date.  The complaint about 100 versus 1000 is now withdrawn.
Please see Japan's Nuclear Emergency - The Straight Goods - including comments - for updated information.

Original post below:

The media loves to abuse the deliciously ambiguous term up to.

Why do some reporters like to get hold of a range of values from a scientist or engineer and then quote the number at the scariest end of the range?
Lift Tales

Lift Tales

Mar 11 2011 | 3 comment(s)

Over many years, as a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, I have regularly received their magazine, formerly Chemistry in Britain, now Chemistry World.  This often contains an article of historical interest
In case you were living under the science equivalent of a rock, the Journal of Cosmology published a study by a NASA researcher stating, essentially, that fossilized bacteria had been found on Earth, but originating from outer space.

That was a bit of a stretch to anyone who thought about it.   Holes in rocks can look like lots of things.
Infinite Growth And The Crisis Cocktail - a guest article

Infinite growth is not possible in any real-world context, yet many otherwise rational people behave - economically speaking - as if they believe that it is possible.

Some time ago I invited Neven- who keeps the Arctic Sea Ice blog and pops up as a commenter on many web sites - to write an article on this topic.  I had read his many comments about it and had been very impressed with his insights.
Despite what you may guess by mass media coverage, the priorities of Americans are not global warming or wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but are instead just what they were in 1990; health care and a good education for their children.