Framing ScienceThe hottest topic in the last two weeks concerns a commentary titled Framing Science which appeared in Science magazine on April 6. Written by Matthew C. Nisbet and Chris Mooney, Framing Science argued that scientists should purposely frame their public discourse to fit their publics. In order to sway public opinion on issues such as global warming (or rather, climate change) and stem cell research, science should take a page from our opponents, and de-emphasize the technical data, placing the stories in cultural context. I get a little nostalgic because this discussion reminds me a little of the mass communications debates of the 1970s (Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage; Irving Rein's Rudy's Red Wagon, etc). And, hooray! fodder for lots of heated discussion amongst the bloggerati this last couple of weeks.
First, the primary documents:
- Nisbet and Mooney in Science: Framing Science, sad to say, not free for the downloading.
- Nisbet and Mooney in the Washington Post: Thanks for the Facts. Now Sell Them
- In Conflict sells. Use it, PZ Myers argues that the Nisbet and Mooney discussion about scientific communication fails to provide a working alternative to emphasizing facts.
- Greg Laden says Nisbet and Mooney don't understand the concept of 'frames', in his post Framing Science “Paper” Is Deeply Flawed.
- Kristjan Wager on ProScience argues that Nisbet and Mooney are looking at the wrong sizes of frames, in Have Nisbet and Mooney Lost It?
- Matthew Nisbet posted an announcement of their WaPo article on Scienceblogs, At the Washington Post, a Nisbet/Mooney focus on framing, with lots of comment following.
- In Nisbet and Mooney Reveal their True Colors, Larry Moran of Sandwalk takes apart the article in the Washington Post
- PZ Myers responds to the Washington Post article in which PZ was accused of missing the point in Snake oil for the snake oil salesmen
- Chris Mooney responds to PZ Myers and others on ScienceBlogs in Framing Science Round II
- John Hawks provides a summary and his take on the issue in Framed!
Other Controversial Research
- GrrlScientist on Living the Scientific Life takes a whack describing an article in Scientific American this week on Chromosomal Chaos and Cancer, which reports on the other research of Peter Duesberg, who is best known (er, most notorious) for denying the link between HIV and AIDS.
- Larry Moran reveals his disappointment in Scientific American over publishing any article by Duesberg, in The demise of Scientific American
- On the Holford Watch, poster le canard noir debunks some notions of the supposed health problems associated with electromagnetic radiation in Holford talks physics rubbish too
- Tim Jones on remote central does a pretty good job at the thankless task of summarizing the points of debate in Apes of Wrath: Evolution vs Intelligent Design--the Battle.
- Justin on Panexperientialism uses a couple of recent books by Sean Carroll and Graham Cairns-Smith to discuss natural selection and the evolution of consciousness, in a blog entry called Feelings and fitness.
- In The island rule and Homo floresiensis, Afarensis discusses the results of a study examining cases of island dwarfing
- Afarensis asks Is australopithecus afarensis too derived to be a human ancestor?, based on a recent PNAS paper by Yoel Rak, Avishag Ginzburg, and Eli Geffen
- GrrlScientist on Living the Scientific Life describes an article in Scientific American this week, exploring the intelligence of ravens in Just How Smart Are Ravens?.
- On Invasive Species, Jennifer Forman Orth waxes rhapsodic on Tasmanian devils, in The Devil in the Details
- The mockingbird is the focus of a paper in 10,000 Birds this week
- Viva La Evolucion! writes on the latest Bug of the month: Buchnera aphidicola
- Phil for Humanity points out that rechargeable batteries are recyclable while the regular ones are not in Recycling batteries
- Jeremy Bruno on The Voltage Gate reports on a new paper in PNAS (and reactions to it) on a rather startling idea about how to ameliorate global warming: Cut down trees in certain latitudes.
- Linda Moulton Howe on Earthfiles tackles the recent story making the rounds about honey bees and what their disappearance might very well mean, in Collapse of Honey Bees in U. S., Canada and 9 European Countries
Tyrannosaurus rex's tiny arms
- On Fish Feet, Sarda Sahney tells us the ongoing debate about What were Tyrannosaurus rex's tiny little arms for anyway?
- Brian Switek on Laelaps points out that ideas about the T rex's tiny forearms were first developed over a century ago, in Scooped by Osborn
- Signout describes results of a recent study that shows that heart patients have a higher mortality rate on the weekends and believes the question about why that might be is A little touchy to ask.
- Biotunes muses on the role of history that seems to play into the resistance to birth control pills that do away with a woman's period in Curse reversed decades late
- LabCat reports on a recent article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry about Green and Black Tea and Breast Cancer
- Alvaro on Sharp Brains submitted a new essay contest for high school students, consisting of 400-800 words and answering the questions, "Based on brain and mind research (within the past 5 years), How do we learn? and How can this new knowledge improve education and the lives of all people?" Admissions are due May 10, so get out your pencils.
Conferences and Festivals
- On Sharp Brains, Alvaro passes along a summary of the Stanford Media X conference, called Cells that fire together wire together
- Sunil on Balancing Life describes his recent visit to a physics festival where Stephen Hawking gave a presentation to a packed house, in Stephen Hawking and Physics Festival
- Krysta Ryzewski in ArchaeoLog discusses the Greene Farm Archaeology Project in Rhode Island, in Creative Documentation and Archaeological Practice: Surveying Archaeologists on Film.
- Eric on Digging Digitally reports on what might be a breakthrough on Open Access in Archaeology: the final report of the APA/AIA Task Force on Electronic Publications, in the post Wow! News from the AIA (Archaeological Institute of America).
- Patrick Hunt discusses his new book Alpine Archaeology, in a new post on Archaeolog called Hannibal Barca's Theophoric Destiny and the Alps
- Andrew in About Geology describes a the uranium lead dating method
- Martin on Aardvarchaeology describes Iron Age gold foil objects in Kaga Gold Foil Figure Model
- Orac on Respectful Insolence takes a look at the financial reality of being a biomedical researcher, in Biomedical researchers at medical schools: Free-lance used car salesmen? Or: Show me the money!
- Sean J. Vaughan of Reason and Rhyme poses the question What Should We Demand From Good Science?