The Experience of Science

Hey everyone!  Last Friday, I wrote about the practice of science—what actually happens in labs around the country and what you do as a scientist.  While that post achieved it’s intended goal—to portray the practice of science—it failed to capture something that I think is just as important: what it feels like to be a scientist.  Contrary to popular belief, scientists are real people too, with emotions to boot.  In fact, being a scientist is one of the most emotional jobs out there.  So in today’s post, I’m going to write about the side of science that scientists don’t really talk about, even though I think they should.Read More »

Feedback Friday: The Practice of Science

Hey everyone!  This past week my friend Jackson (if you haven’t checked out his blog Think Only Today, you really are missing out) sent me an excellent TED Talk by Naomi Oreskes about why we should believe science.  In response to Ms. Oreskes’ wonderful argument, I decided to go deeper in depth on a topic I feel she shortchanges: what is the actual practice of science like.Read More »

The Fall of Dr. Oz

On June 17th, 2014, something glorious happened.  Something so wonderful, so astoundingly unlikely, so rare, that when I heard the news I was tempted to stand up and sing a hallelujah chorus.  What was so wondrous and inspiring?  A congressional committee held a meeting on an important scientific issue and actual was effective at conveying the science!!!!!!  I know!!! This never happens!  What was the occasion for this amazing event?  Why it was a session of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on weight loss scams.  And what has me so excited was they called in Dr. Mehmet Oz, probably the greatest purveyor of unscientific weight loss treatments of our day, and chewed him out!

Read More »

Vaccinate, Damn It!

Hey everyone.  I know it’s Feedback Friday and all, but something happened this week that I just cannot wait to blog about.  And not in a good way.  This is a public service post.  Also, just a side note, this is an issue that I get very passionate about, and some language in here is not appropriate for small children.Read More »

The Turing Test: Why I Think Eugene Goostman Didn’t Pass

On June 7th, 2014, the 60th anniversary of the death of computer scientist Alan Turing, the University of Reading announced that a chatbot named Eugene Goostman had passed the Turing Test, the litmus test for artificial intelligence.  As stories of our impending robot overlords’ approach tend to do, the story went viral.  It was picked up by news outlets from Slate to the Washington Post—even tech outlets like The Verge and PC World jumped on the Eugene Goostman bandwagon.  To have the media tell it, we had just entered a Blade Runner-esque world where the line between human and robotic intelligence will become blurred.  Does your wife dream of electric sheep yet?Read More »

Feedback Friday: Dear Mr. Creationist

This weeks Feedback Friday comes courtesy of my friend Liam, who’s comment on a creationist video made it pop up on my news feed. The video, which you can see here, says it will destroy my belief in evolution in three minutes. However, I was found fatal flaws in the arguments presented, and in the interest of education and science literacy, I will respond to them here.

Read More »

Summer Reading List 2014!

Hey everyone!  Summer is here, and with the vast expanse of free time that brings (or at least the slight increase in free time), I feel there is no better time to pass along some prime book recommendations along with my friend—and fellow unconventional teen—Jackson.  You can find my list here, and Jackson’s over at his blog Think Only Today.  Because not every book is perfect for every person, I’ve divided them up into some broad sections.

Read More »

Feedback Friday: Science Illiteracy

A study was published this week by the National Science Foundation that made my blood cold, and judging from the three people who emailed it to me, you felt the same way.  The study, called Science & Engineering Indicators 2014, is available online for free at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind14/index.cfm/digest, and is worth a read.  Though you might want to sit down first.

Read More »