#SciLogs Weekly Roundup: Charles Darwin, Biocalculator, Infotainment, Woman Scientist, National Champion For Science

25 May 2013 by Khalil A. Cassimally, posted in SciLogs

Every weekend, I publish a roundup of the week’s SciLogs.com blog posts along with some reactions from the comment feeds and social media.

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This week’s blog to watch: The Sankoré Scriptures by Joe Dramiga.

Charles Darwin is blogging on SciLogs.com! Or at least, SciLogs.com blogger Joe Dramiga is highlighting some of Darwin's most remarkable paragraphs, taken from his numerous travelogues and books, on his blog The Sankoré Scriptures. The series "Raw and Uncut" showcases the brilliance of Darwin not just as a scientist but also as a writer.


GrrlScientist: Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize shortlist announced

Malcolm Campbell: Morsels for the mind – 24/5/2013

Graham Morehead: What is Design?

Lee Turnpenny: ‘Is ‘cloning’ mad, bad and dangerous?’ – an argument revisited

GrrlScientist: Look inside space by Rob Lloyd Jones | Book Review

Farooq Khan: inter-disciplinary inter-DTC conference, UCL CoMPLEX, May 16-17

Akshat Rathi: Bioengineers go retro to build a calculator from living cells

Nsikan Apkan: Standing Idly By

Kerstin Hoppenhaus: Library prep preparation

Jalees Rehman: ‘Infotainment’ and Critical Science Journalism

Martin Robbins:

“[...] Shit journalism is shit journalism, whether it's satire, entertainment, long-form, short-form, whatever - the same standards generally should apply. That they don't has a lot more to do with the nature of the changing industry than with people's desire to entertain.”

Jalees Rehman, in response:

“[...] This oversimplification ignores the fact that not every type of journalism has the same goal. A journalist who reports about a disaster does not necessarily need to provide an in-depth analysis of why the disaster occurred and what steps could have been taken to limit the damage. "Shit journalism" in the context of primarily reporting about a disaster would for example consist of communicating wrong facts and exaggerating the damage. On the other hand, an investigative journalism article about the causes of the disaster would be "shit journalism", if it performed an inadequate analysis and suppressed information that was uncovered during the investigation.”


GrrlScientist:Don’t Flush: Lifting the Lid on the Science of Poo and Wee by Richard & Mary Platt | Book Review

Paige Brown: Out West: Canyon Geology

Matt Shipman: The Story Trumps Everything: an Interview with Deborah Blum

GrrlScientist: Discover More: The Elements by Dan Green | Book Review

Jalees Rehman: Critical Science Writing: A Checklist for the Life Sciences

Kerstin Hoppenhaus: Science in the Magic House

Laura Nielsen: Eyes on Columbia Glacier’s retreat

Kerstin Hoppenhaus: The cleanroom

GrrlScientist: Human Body Factory by Dan Green | Book Review

Tania Brown: The Delights of Data

Michael Blume: The “Russian Amish” – resisting the demographic decline of the former Soviet Union

Joe Dramiga: Raw and Uncut 1: Tameness of Birds and Fear of Man, An Acquired Instinct

Matt Shipman: Picking a National Champion for Science

Sally Gore:

“I'm all for have official spokespersons for science, as long as they speak directly to Congress AND Congress agrees to listen to them. Sadly, I don't see that happening. Instead, I see more cuts to government-funded science and can't help but wonder how this move possibly jives with that environment.”

bangbangexplode on reddit:

“Seems like a useless bureaucratic thing to me. That money would be better spent on actual research and education in my opinion. Some talking head "advocating" science doesn't seem very productive.”

dyslexda on reddit:

“The fifth consideration seems the biggest, here. An unpaid position that's likely to quickly become partisan? Who of any talent is going to want to do that? I'm afraid this would become simply a CV booster; nobody would want to leave a prestigious position for it.”

GrrlScientist: Build the Human Body by Richard Walker | Book Review

Joe Dramiga: Raw and Uncut 2: The Flashes of Fireflies

Stephanie Swift: It’s great to be a woman scientist; it’s challenging to be a woman scientist


“There is still some inherent bias in the "just ask for what you want" approach that people need to be aware of, also. Many studies have shown that women who ask for raises, promotions, and other things to advance their career are often judged more harshly than men who ask for the same things. But, as with other elements of the implicit bias, awareness of how we react to situations as advisors and managers can go a long way.”


“I spent 14 yrs in academia as a neuroscientist, and neuro-epidemiologist. I repeatedly found that while the gender ratios in biological sciences were fairly balanced, and in public health and psychology were heavily scewed towards women at the pre and postdoctoral levels, the ratios were heavily scewed towards men at any level of professorship. The ratios in public health and psychology would switch from 10-20% male in the pre and postdoc levels to 10-20% female in professorships. I believe much of this has to do with the way academia is still set up to be too competitive, rather than using a more cooperative model that is based on how we as a group can push the field forward.”

Joe Dramiga: Raw and Uncut 3: Red Cylindrical Confervae

Malcolm Campbell: There’s treasure everywhere!

Nash Turley:

“Interesting how evolutionary biologists have put great emphasis on understanding the causes and consequences of standing genetic variation over the last century but seems we now need to be reminded that this variation is perhaps our most useful asset when trying to solve biological problems. Great story!”

Mićo Tatalović: Serbia’s science academy decries ‘catastrophic state of science’, demands government action

Kausik Datta: Cryptococcus gattii Gone Wild on World Tour

GrrlScientist: Buzzing! by Anneliese Emmans Dean | Book Review

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