Weekly Roundup

Podcasts of the talks from the conference held at Cardiff University on under-represented groups in philosophy are freely available to listen and download here.

Scientists burst out singing on YouTube. Symphony of Science is a new Internet project which takes bits from popular scientific lectures and makes them into video clips, in which the original presenters sing their lectures.  The first clip is composed of bits from Carl Sagan‘s A Glorious Dawn. The final results of this project, are… well, judge for yourself.

A new study published by the British Medical Journal challenges the existing recommendation to exclusivity breastfeed babies for their first six months. A post on Feminist Philosophers comments on that: “Did we make you feel horribly guilty and tell you that you were ruining your child’s life if you didn’t exclusively breastfeed for six months? Oops. Sorry about that … Come on, folks, how about a bit of epistemic humility in discussing these issues? Nah, that would involve complexity and we all know mothers’ brains can’t cope with that”.

Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle made a splash this week after reminding the astrologically inclined that Earth’s “wobble” has shifted the zodiac signs over the last two thousand years. Turns out yesterday wasn’t the dawn of Aquarius after all.

Aaron Sidney Wright, a fellow historian and philosopher of science, provides a clear philosophical summary of Jonah Lehrer’s insightful article on the decline effect, noted in a previous Weekly Roundup. Certainty and the internal/external inevitabilities of bias present serious problems for those that “want to believe in the results of science”.

מדענים מזמרים ביוטיוב?

פיזיקאים, אסטרונומים ומדענים אחרים מוצאים את עצמם בתוך שירים על מדע, חלל והחיים

אסף שגיא

פורסם: 14.01.11, 11:40


<< מה ההבדל בין תימני לרוסי?

פרוייקט מוזיקלי אינטרנטי בשם Symphony of Science לוקח קטעים מתוכניות והרצאות מדעיות והופך אותם לשירים מקוריים עם וידאו מרהיב. הקליפ הראשון בפרוייקט, A Glorious Dawn, מורכב מקטעים מתוכנית המדע ש


  • W. Dean Reply

    Those who study the history and sociology of science tend to see things like the “decline effect” as a systemic epistemological problem in science. A broader view would suggest that this effect has its origins in our cultural expectations of science and how these expectations have shaped scientific research. Unprecedented sums of money are poured into health research (e.g., pharmaceuticals, food and product safety and “cure-all” herbal and dietary regimes). The sheer number of studies conducted and scientists conducting them, when coupled with the expectation cum incentive to produce applicable results, must issue an inordinately large number of false or exaggerated claims that turn out to be false or exaggerated when studied by those with less to gain and less to lose.

    But isn’t this still a systemic problem in science? Yes, but it’s not an epistemological one, so much as a social one that will be with us as long as human beings carry out science funded by government and industry. Thus, it’s not obvious what can be done about it beyond making people aware of it.

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