July 23, 2014

3:52 PM | Virtually Speaking Science: Megalodons, Mermaids, & More with David Shiffman
Tonight on Virtually Speaking Science, I have a treat for biology and science fiction lovers: David Shiffman, a PhD student in shark biology and conservation at the University of Miami, known to many by his Twitter name WhySharksMatter, will be … Continue reading →

July 18, 2014

8:17 PM | Attempting to Incite Trans Panic Requires More than a Nonpology
You always hear that covers are an art, but I’m not sure how much anyone really realizes that until they’ve worked on a cover (copy or art). Sure, you learn really fast when you publish something that shouldn’t have made … Continue reading →

July 17, 2014

8:20 PM | When your cover photo says less about the story and more about who you imagine you’re talking to.
The choice of cover of the most recent issue of Science was not good. This provoked strong reactions and, eventually, an apology from Science‘s editor-in-chief. It’s not the worst apology... -- Read more on
3:42 PM | Ziploc: There’s No Better Way to Protect Your Select Agent Investment
A lot of interesting testimony came out of yesterday’s House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing, which was titled “Review of CDC Anthrax Lab Incident,” but broadly covered the numerous slapstick-’cept-it-ain’t-funny errors around dangerous pathogens research at the … Continue reading →

July 16, 2014

8:02 PM | Successful science outreach means connecting with the people you’re trying to reach.
Let’s say you think science is cool, or fun, or important to understand (or to do) in our modern world. Let’s say you want to get others who don’t (yet) see science as cool, or fun,... -- Read more on

July 15, 2014

6:50 PM | Becky Bird Flu and HPANTHRAPOX (Biosecurity Satire)
As any fan of The Daily Show knows, satire is often the only defense.1 2 Becky Bird Flu coined by Nick Evans. …I can’t pin HPANTHRAPOX on anyone, though. That one is all mine.If you’re wondering what this is a defense … Continue reading →
1:19 AM | Remaining Inaugural Members of NSABB Dismissed Last Night
It’s not exactly been what one would call a banner month for the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the last week and change, it’s been revealed that oops, the CDC completely screwed … Continue reading →

July 13, 2014

11:03 PM | Heroes, human “foibles”, and science outreach.
“Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman There is a... -- Read more on

July 09, 2014

7:17 PM | On the value of empathy, not othering.
Could seeing the world through the eyes of the scientist who behaves unethically be a valuable tool for those trying to behave ethically? Last semester, I asked my “Ethics in Science”... -- Read more on

July 03, 2014

12:49 AM | Conduct of scientists (and science writers) can shape the public’s view of science.
Scientists undertake a peculiar kind of project. In striving to build objective knowledge about the world, they are tacitly recognizing that our unreflective picture of the world is likely to be... -- Read more on

June 30, 2014

7:51 PM | Some thoughts about human subjects research in the wake of Facebook’s massive experiment.
You can read the study itself here, plus a very comprehensive discussion of reactions to the study here. 1. If you intend to publish your research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, you are... -- Read more on
6:52 PM | In the wake of the Harran plea deal, are universities embracing lab safety?
Earlier this month, prosecutors in Los Angeles reached a plea agreement with UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran in the criminal case against him in connection with the 2008 lab accident that... -- Read more on
4:44 PM | Hobby Lobby, Contraception, & the Supreme Court Ruling
As expected, the last case ruled on before the Supreme Court of the United States adjourned until October was the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga case. For those unaware, this case is based on the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, classifying contraceptives as … Continue reading →

June 29, 2014

8:44 PM | Do permanent records of scientific misconduct findings interfere with rehabilitation?
We’ve been discussing how the scientific community deals with cheaters in its midst and the question of whether scientists view rehabilitation as a live option. Connected to the question of... -- Read more on
6:55 PM | A suggestion for those arguing about the causal explanation for fewer women in science and engineering fields.
People are complex, as are the social structures they build (including but not limited to educational institutions, workplaces, and professional communities). Accordingly, the appropriate causal... -- Read more on
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