Scientist PACs and Judges

One of the most interesting suggestions made by Chris and Sheril in Unscientific America is the idea that science needs to play political hardball (page 158, in the endnotes): Why not form a nonpartisan science political action committee, or PAC, devoted to funding candidates who are either scientists themselves or who make science a strong […]

Unscientific America by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future is the new book by Chris and Sheril of The Intersection (formerly on ScienceBlogs, now at Discover), and they were kind enough to include me on the list of people getting review copies. It turned up on Friday (after I’d already started Newton and the Counterfeiter). I […]

Death to the Un-Noted Endnote

This is a rare weekend in which I’ve completed two serious books– the aforementioned Newton and the Couterfeiter and Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum’s Unscientific America (a review copy showed up Friday, thanks guys), about which more later. They’re very different books, but both excellent in their own way. While they have very different subjects, […]

The Myth of the Abrasive Genius

Via Steve Hsu, a lengthy rant by Bruce Charlton about the dullness of modern scientists: Question: why are so many leading modern scientists so dull and lacking in scientific ambition? Answer: because the science selection process ruthlessly weeds-out interesting and imaginative people. At each level in education, training and career progression there is a tendency […]

Paul Volcker: More Science, Less Finance

The main speaker at yesterday’s Commencement was Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Chairman (the guy before Alan Greenspan) and current chair of President Obama’s economic advisory council. As you would expect from somebody of his background, the bulk of the speech was about the current economic crisis. The full speech is online, but the […]

Show Me the Pony

So, the President gave some sort of speech to a bunch of smart people yesterday (video, transcript), and hearts are a-flutter all over the science blogosphere, as President Obama promises great things for science: We double the budget of key agencies, including the National Science Foundation, a primary source of funding for academic research, and […]

How to Make the World Safe for Science

Over at the Intersection’s new digs, Sheril has posted a rather long list of fellowship programs for people interested in science policy. Sponsors include government agencies, private universities, professional societies, and private foundations, and cover pretty much every branch of science. If you’d like to take a look inside the sausage factory and spend some […]

Restoring the Office of Technology Assessment to Its Rightful Place

Over at his new digs, Chris Mooney talks about efforts to re-launch the OTA: I’m starting to detect some buzz on this very important front, which I wrote about in detail in 2005’s The Republican War on Science and elsewhere. Basically, the story is this: In 1995 the Gingrich Republicans, looking to slash budgets–and looking […]