Science & Society

Nearly 60 percent of Americans, if they buy a new handgun, are willing to purchase a smart gun -- operable in the hands of an authorized user -- which is not really a surprise after the entertainment news program "60 Minutes" featured them in November. The claim is that smart guns will prevent accidents, suicides and stolen guns being used in crime because of the biometric technology involved. 

And the public supports them, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, even though the public doesn't know they don't actually work.

At all levels of academic science men outnumber women by a great deal.  Whites outnumber black by a even larger margin regardless of sex or gender.   Out LGBT are outnumbered by an even larger margin.  Without loss of generality I hypothesize that MOST of the sexual, racial and other tensions in the science lab is at root caused by this lopsided representation of people.


TL;DR: Male behavior + few females = Sexually Hostile astronomy workplace for women. That is the real #astroSH.  The court of law can help with this.


I live north of Harbin Hot Springs, a "health resort," which catered (it burned in the 2015 Valley Fire) to new-age types  who have yet have to find an alternative-anything that they don't like. Alternative medicine. Alternatives to clothing. They distrust modern technology (except computers and mobile phones, which they use to complain to their friends about how awful modern technology is), especially biotechnology.

New-agers will name their child Raspberry.

Brain training has come into the spotlight with Tuesday’s announcement by the Federal Trade Commission that the popular website Lumosity will be forced to pay a $2 million settlement for making false advertising claims.

A study of risk communication as it relates to altruistic behavior has found that portraying an event as a distant risk, despite highlighting its importance and potential progression, fails to prompt altruistic behavior intention among the U.S. public.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa gained substantial media momentum during the final three months of 2014. In October, a Liberian man visiting family in Texas became the first diagnosed Ebola patient in the U.S. to die from the disease. But though mainstream media hyped it beyond belief, the Obama administration offered minimal assistance to the affected region, at least compared to American responses to other recent crises or disasters, such as the Haitian earthquake in 2010.

Citizen science, amateurs who did science for the love of it rather than as a career, were once well-respected. They were often more elite than those who did it as an occupation, much like Sherlock Holmes was a superior detective because he was an amateur in a world where police forces were blue collar and lacked education. 

Amid the many calls for scientists to engage with the general public, there are some who feel that scientists ought to remain aloof and disconnected from the broader public.

They believe academics shouldn’t even attempt to communicate their research to common folk. And many scientists oblige them, by writing in a turgid manner that is highly effective at keeping the public (and their peers) at bay.

So, here are a few of the tricks that scientists use to produce such turgid science writing. These methods restrict science to the smallest and most specialist audience possible.

Google this: conservative vs liberal brain and you'll find 546,000 hits. Only a minority of these hits will link to well presented, bias free science.

The first hit leads to bullets with references you can track down yourself such as:

In America it seems that Democrats are gaining ground and that therefore the culture is moving to the left. It's actually much different, Democrats have actually moved to the right. President Obama came into office campaigning against two wars but will leave office with three. He never closed Guantanamo Bay and even his lifting of "the ban" on human embryonic stem cell research was just a slight modification of the NIH funding policy under President George W. Bush.

In the 1990s, and more recently during the Obama administration, there has been a wave of protectionism about United States technology and science jobs, with calls to cut visas for foreign-born workers.

It's a modern demonization of Asiatics, minus the buck teeth caricatures. In reality, it is forbidden by law to pay substantially less to someone because they are not a citizen, so foreign scientists and engineers were not undercutting Americans. In the Clinton era, this protectionism directly led to the exportation of jobs overseas - but student visas never slowed down, so we trained foreign students in the best schools in the world and then forced them to go back home to compete with America instead of becoming Americans.