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Posts tagged with "General Scientific News"

  • General Scientific News

    Chemical Illiteracy, Again

    The BBC really should know better than this. Shown is a screen shot from a current science TV series, “Wonders of Life”, taken from this review in The Guardian. Every chemist reading this will have noticed by now that this so-called “peptide structure” is laughably insane. It’s poorly drawn, too – what’s wi… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    English As the Language of Science

    For some Friday afternoon reading, here’s an essay on how English became the language of science. We seem, it says, to have gone from polyglot-with-a-bridging language (Latin) during the Renaissance and up until about 1700, then through a period of completely polyglot science up until around 1850. Around then, science settled into a triumvira… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    That Pew Survey and Its Problems

    A week or so ago, the Pew Center people released a poll on the differences in opinion between the general public and the members of the AAAS. It got quite a bit of attention, and one of the highlighted splits was on the safety of genetically modified organisms in food. (Less than 50% of the… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Carl Djerassi, 1923-2015

    Carl Djerassi‘s obituaries are all over the press, and well they should be. The history of early steroid chemistry is wild and tangled, with many players who now seem larger than life. But there’s no doubt that Djerassi was one of the biggest names in that era, and there’s no doubt that he was one… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    Underpowered And Overinterpreted

    Time for another “watch those statistics” post. I did one about this time last year, and I could do one every couple of months, to be honest. Here’s a good open-access paper from the Royal Society on the problem of p-values, and why there are so many lousy studies out there in the literature. The… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Difficult to Measure

    Here’s a link that has nothing to do with chemistry: a profile of Bill James. Or does it? As many out there will know, James pioneered a data-driven, from-the-ground-up way of looking at baseball, and writing about it. Back in the 1980s, I bought his Baseball Abstract every year, and enjoyed them thoroughly, but not… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    Science And Dramatic Art: Any Intersections?

    Someone asked me this the other day, and I’ve never had a good answer for it. Has there ever been a realistic, compelling depiction of of what it’s like to do scientific research in any movie, TV show, or play? My own answer is that while the number of dramatic works that have mishandled the… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    More on Fluorescent Microscopy Chemistry Prizes

    I wanted to note (with surprise!) that one of this year’s Nobel laureates actually showed up in the comments section of the post I wrote about him. You’d think his schedule would be busier at the moment (!), but here’s what he had to say: A friend pointed this site/thread out to me. I apologize… Read More
  • General Scientific News

    You’d Think That This Can’t Be Correct

    Well, here’s something to think about over the weekend. I last wrote here in 2011 about the “E-cat”, a supposed alternative energy source being touted/developed by Italian inventor Andrea Rossi. Odd and not all that plausible claims of low-energy fusion reactions of nickel isotopes have been made for the device (see the comments s… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Eric Betzig Is Not a Chemist, And I Don’t Much Care

    Update: Betzig himself has shown up in the comments to this post, which just makes my day. Yesterday’s Nobel in chemistry set off the traditional “But it’s not chemistry!” arguments, which I largely try to stay out of. For one thing, I don’t think that the borders between the sciences are too clear – you… Read More