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Global warming and Smithsonian chilling May 21, 2007

Posted by @Doc in corruption, democracy, Education, Environment, George Bush, Global warming, Politics, religious extremists, Republicans, Research, science, Smithsonian Institution.
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To some extent, science has always been more shaped by political realities and pressures than we usually admit. After all, science is “objective,” done properly, and when we look at a scientific study we like to think we’re looking at the best approximation of fact and truth possible at the present moment.

Of course, this is hardly so. Say you get a government grant to study Alzheimer’s and do an absolutely textbook, brilliant, landmark study that moves the field ahead ten years. You’re published in a premier journal, win awards, get quoted left and right, lock up tenure, etc. Nothing biased at all about it.

Except that government funds are not infinite, and back when that grant was being reviewed somebody decided to fund research into Alzheimer’s instead of research into something else, like maybe AIDS or HPV or Parkinson’s or whatever. (more…)


Curriculum plank posted March 27, 2007

Posted by @Doc in art, curriculum, Education, humanities, mathematics, science.
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It’s been a few weeks – nothing like moving across the country to hijack your campaign, I’ve learned. Anyway, Dr. Slammy 2008 is back up and running, and tonight I offer up my plank on curriculum. That we emphasize teaching is the core of my candidacy, but what we teach is of paramount importance.

You’re invited to review the plank, and as always I invite your thoughts.