Archive for: March, 2009

Framing and ethics (part 3).

In a pair of earlier posts, I looked at the ethical principles Matthew C. Nisbet says should be guiding the framing of science and at examples Nisbet discusses of ethical and unethical framing. Here, consider some lessons we might learn from the framing wars. I'm hopeful that we can gain insight about the folks interested in communicating science, about the various people with whom they're trying to communicate, and perhaps even about the approaches that might be useful (or counterproductive) in trying to sell scientists on the utility of the framing strategy.
This post is not so much a response to Matt's recent post on the ethics of framing as it is to the multi-year brouhaha over framing and its discontents in the science blogosphere.
The lessons I'm taking away from all of this are more along the lines of bite-sized nuggets than a Grand Unified Moral of the Story (although it's quite possible that someone with more patience or insight than I can muster could find the grand unifying thread in these nuggets):

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Mythical Pet Shop.

Mar 30 2009 Published by under Critters, Passing thoughts

As promised, a picture from the elder Free-Ride offspring:

MythicalPetShop.jpg

There's a sale on Chinese dragons and hypogryffs! I don't know if it's related to the economic downturn, though.

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Framing and ethics (part 2).

In my last post, I looked at a set of ethical principles Matt Nisbet asserts should be guiding the framing of science. In this post, I consider the examples Matt provides as the "DO" and "DON'T" pictures for the application of these guiding ethical principles.
First, Matt examines an example of framing done well:

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Framing and ethics (part 1).

If it's spring, it must be time for another round of posts trying to get clear on the framing strategies advocated by Matthew C. Nisbet, and on why these communications seem to be so controversial among scientists and science bloggers.
My past attempts to figure out what's up with framing can be found here:

The present post has been prompted by Matt's recent post on the ethics of framing science.
If you haven't the stomach for another round of the framing wars (or the attempt at analysis from here on the sidelines), come back later for tasty framing-free content: This afternoon I'll be posting an illustration by the elder Free-Ride offspring, and this evening I'll be revealing the identities of the mystery crops in my garden.
For those still reading, here's my plan: First, in this post, I'll consider the four ethical principles Matt says ought to be guiding scientists, journalists, and other communicators who are framing science. In the next post, I'll say something about what seems to be going on when proponents of the framing strategy object that scientists are not applying it correctly. Finally, I'll try to draw some broader lessons about the folks interested in communicating science - and about the strategies that might be useful (or counterproductive) in trying to sell scientists on the utility of the framing strategy.

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Sometimes the world smacks you upside the head.

Mar 30 2009 Published by under Critters, Passing thoughts

And sometimes it happens right across the street from my favorite aquarium. With a smack that's slightly squishy.
Sea Notes provides the details:

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Spring keeps on springing (audience participation edition).

Mar 29 2009 Published by under Biology, Garden, Personal

It would appear that our rainy season is really over until next winter (which is not to say that it won't rain at all between now and then, just that things will be more dry than wet). So, it seemed like a good time to document some recent developments in the Free-Ride garden.
Today, I'm presenting six photos from the garden for you to identify:

  • Common name is fine -- no need to provide the Linnaean binomial unless you really feel like it.
  • No, I'm not asking you to identify these plants because I've forgotten what I've planted. (Not this time, anyway.)
  • Your identifications will germinate (harden-off? compost?) in comment moderation until Monday night (9 PM PST, to be precise), so there's no need to worry that your comment will spoil the fun for others who want to guess.
  • If you have a favorite recipe that uses one or more of these mystery crops and you'd like to share, that would be awesome.

And now for the photos:

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links for 2009-03-29

Mar 29 2009 Published by under Linkfest

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Free ethics advice for the Pope.

Mar 27 2009 Published by under Current events, Ethics 101, Medicine, Politics

When, speaking to journalists about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, you make a claim that the epidemic is:

a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem

those listening who assume you are committed to honesty (because of that commandment about not bearing false witness) and that you are well-informed about the current state of our epidemiological knowledge (because, as the Pope, you have many advisors, and owing to your importance as the head of the Roman Catholic Church, leading scientists will take the time to help you understand scientific findings) may draw the conclusion that the distribution and use of condoms can make the spread of HIV worse.

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Friday Sprog Blogging: the science fair cometh.

Well, the school science fair looms (as school science fairs are wont to do). While the actual event isn't until May, we have reached the point at which the science teacher is vetting the proposed projects.

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links for 2009-03-27

Mar 27 2009 Published by under Linkfest

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