Archive for: June, 2009

Friday Sprog Blogging: spectroscope.

Jun 26 2009 Published by under Kids and science

At day camp yesterday, the sprogs (and their fellow campers) had a visitor:
Elder Free-Ride offspring; She was an astrophysicist. You know what that is, right?
She talked to us about studying light that comes from space, and all the different kinds of light there are traveling across space. There's infrared, and ultraviolet, and even X-rays. And, of course, there's white light that we can see with our eyes.

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The appropriate cyborg for the job.

Jun 20 2009 Published by under Passing thoughts, Personal

Since the cool kids seem to be doing cyborg names today:

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A conference paper I didn't see coming.

Jun 20 2009 Published by under Conferences, Philosophy, Politics, Pop culture

I thought I'd share a snapshot of my morning with you. For some reason, the internet seems like a good place for it.
The paper promised to be about the evaluation of evidence in understanding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. What follows are the notes I took during the approximately 25 minute conference presentation, edited to clean up typos. I'm not naming names; Google will provide if you really need to know.

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15 responses so far

Question for the commentariat about the goal of science education.

This just came up in a plenary session I'm attending, looking at how best to convey the nature of science in K-12 science education (roughly ages 5-18).
It's not really a question about the content of the instruction, which people here seem pretty comfortable saying should include stuff about scientific methodology and critical testing, analysis and interpretation of data, hypothesis and prediction, what kind of certainty science can achieve, and so forth. Rather, it's a question about how that content is organized and framed.

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17 responses so far

Commitments, rational arguments, and other people.

As a brief follow-up to my post thinking about Dr. J's view that cats are a special class of being that ought not be used in research, I would like to assert that:

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5 responses so far

Friday Sprog Blogging: building cells.

Jun 19 2009 Published by under Biology, Kids and science

Last week, the Free-Ride offspring and I used our Cell Project kit from Galaxy Goo to build some three-dimensional models of animal cells out of clay.

Cell1.jpg

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In which I try to outwit the gastropods

Jun 18 2009 Published by under Critters, Environment, Garden, Personal

... from a secret location. Because, in light of fluctuations in the slug and snail population when I go away, I think they may read my blog.

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Non-rational lines, empathy, and animal research.

Today, at R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.E.R.S., Dr J. posted a picture of a charming looking cat with the following text:

As little as I can do to push back against the sick minded evil mo-fo bastards who think animal testing on cats is ok....from now on I will post occasional photos of cats as a reminder that these animals are infinitely better than the low life scum that would put them in a lab and murder them, or would sit on an animal experiments committee and authorize their use in any such way, or cite papers involving their research or in anyway devalue them...I think you are debasing and damaging science by doing so and your moral fabric is in shreds and it is time to get it sorted, there is no acceptable justification.

Along with some of the follow-up in comments on that post, Dr. Isis finds this alarming:

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18 responses so far

Location, location, location: ethical considerations in where to run a clinical trial.

A day later than promised, let's kick off our discussion of "Research Rashomon: Lessons from the Cameroon Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Trial Site" (PDF). The case study concerns a clinical trial of whether tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug, could prevent HIV infection. Before it was halted in the face of concerns raised by activists and the media, the particular clinical trial discussed in this case was conducted in Cameroon. Indeed, one of the big questions the activists raised about the trial was whether it was ethical to site it in Cameroon.
From the case study:

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Snail eradication (day 38).

Jun 15 2009 Published by under Critters, Environment, Garden, Personal

When the snail hunter is away, the gastropods will play.

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