January 30, 2015

1:04 AM | Guest Post: Cheering for Science at Super Bowl XLIX
Hello, science fans! Today’s guest posting is from Jack Bobo, a Senior Advisor for Global Food Policy at the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Bobo  is responsible for developing and implementing U.S. trade policy related to new agricultural technologies and working with foreign governments to address regulatory barriers to U.S. agricultural exports. Prior to joining the State Department, Mr. Bobo practiced law at the Washington, D.C. firm of Crowell & Moring, […]
1:02 AM | In the News: The Smartest Person at the Super Bowl
Check this out: here’s a fun article profiling Kelly, one of the Science Cheerleaders who will be cheering on the New England Patriots at the Super Bowl this Sunday. Our thanks to Sam Wood at Go Kelly!   When the New England Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday, the smartest person on the gridiron may be a cheerleader. Kelly Bennion, 26, has danced for the Pats for the past two seasons. At the same time, she’s been pursuing a...[ Read Full Story ]

January 29, 2015

2:12 PM | Science of Science Communication 2.0, Session 3.1: Science comprehension: who knows what about what—and how?
Okay, this is "session 3" post for virtual "Science of Science Communication 2.0."  The real space version got snowed out!   But the discussion I was hoping for (based on these readings) was mainly one on how group affinities contribute to transmission of scientific knowledge.   "Cultural cognition" is normally associated with idea that such affinities distort such transmission.   But my hunch is that cultural cognition is in fact integral to citizens' reliable […]

January 28, 2015

6:42 PM | Science Cheerleaders team up with Arizona State University: Science at the SuperBowl !
Hey football fans! Science Cheerleader Samantha here! I cheered for the AZ Cardinals while I was in school for Engineering Management at Arizona State. I’m now working as an engineering project manager. I’m also a regional coordinator at Science Cheerleader!  Come meet me and other Science Cheerleaders on Friday, 1/30 at the Arizona Science Center when we team up with Arizona State University to present the Science at the Superbowl! Meet these Science Cheerleaders on 1/30! […]
5:04 PM | There is pervasive cultural consensus on the value of childhood vaccines in the U.S.; so why do people *think* that being anti-vaccine reflects any particular cultural predisposition?
A reporter who was covering the current measles outbreak asked me a question about the connection between vaccine hesitancy—the reluctance of parents to get their kids vaccinated—and the contribution cultural or political predispositions make to vaccine risk perceptions.  In the background of the question were a couple of facts that this reporter gets but that a lot other reporters and people generally don’t: first, that parents in the US along with rest of the general […]
7:49 AM | Understanding user interactions with the artificial pancreas
The ‘artificial pancreas’ is a new treatment for diabetes which allows for the automatic control of blood glucose levels by replicating some of the functions of a healthy pancreas. The system wirelessly links together a set of devices – a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump, both body-mounted, and a tablet-mounted algorithm – in more

January 27, 2015

11:26 AM | No Workers’ Comp Because Having Gun Held to Your Head is Part of Job?
State laws and court rulings have opened the door for workers’ comp benefits for psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Despite that, this employer tried to deny benefits to an employee because being a victim of an armed robbery was part of the job. Gregory Kochanowicz was the manager of a PA Liquor [...]
11:08 AM | Are Workers More Likely to be Injured on the Job if They Have Hearing Loss?
The theory makes sense: Workers with hearing loss are at greater risk of occupational injury because they are less likely to be able to hear sounds that would indicate a hazard or warning signals. But is this actually true? New research points to this being true and looks at different types of hearing loss and [...]
10:55 AM | Lone-Gunman Based Safety
Ever since Jack Ruby gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald while being transferred from a Dallas police station to county jail debate has raged as to whether or not Oswald acted alone or if he was part of a larger conspiracy. There’s not much satisfaction in the “Lone Gunman” theory; it lacks the panache and high [...]
10:38 AM | (VIDEO) Fatal Exposure: Tragedy at DuPont
Related Training DVDs: Process Safety Management & Risk Management Programs The best safety practices necessary to prevent a hazardous chemical fire, explosion, & more. View Product Process Safety Employee Awareness Training DVD Understand why certain safety procedures are so important and helps motivate them to follow proper procedures. View Product Process Safety [...]
10:08 AM | Astronomers find colossal ring system putting Saturn’s to shame
An astronomy professor at the University of Leiden, Ignas Snellen,called brown dwarfs ‘failed stars‘ because they were too heavy to be typical planets (13-75 times as heavy as Jupiter) and too light to sustain the fusion of hydrogen into helium. As a result, they exist in a limbo in astronomers’ textbooks, with the precise mechanism […]
2:30 AM | Rosetta’s comet sheds its coat for warmer times
Fascinating things are happening to the world’s most-watched comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as it approaches the Sun. A new study from NASA and ESA scientists published in Nature reports that by January 20, 67P shed a crust of dust built up on its surface over the last four years. In fact, by the end of January – about a week from […]
2:10 AM | Why does sodium react so explosively with water?
In January 1947, the American War Assets Administration dumped drums of sodium left over after the end of World War II into Lake Lenore in eastern Washington state. A video of the event – it really was an event – is available from the Internet Archive. Sodium’s reaction with water – or most other substances in […]

January 26, 2015

2:31 PM | Applicability of the Charter to Vaccination-or-Mask Policies
The first step in a Charter challenge to vaccination-or-mask policies (issued by hospitals as a condition of service) is to see if the Charter even applies. That requires a reconciliation of current conflicting Canadian jurisprudence.

January 25, 2015

9:54 AM | Caution: This piece contains a lot of mentions of the word ‘jargon’.
When writing one of my first pieces for The Hindu, I remember being called out for using a lot of jargon. While the accusation itself may have been justified, the word my supervisor chose as an example of the problem was surprising: “refraction”. He wanted me to spell it out in 10 words or so […]

January 24, 2015

8:10 PM | Genevieve: Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader working in Industrial Technology
Genevieve is a rookie for the 2014 Arizona Cardinals Cheerleaders. She started her engineering career as a systems engineer at Cisco Systems, Inc. What turned you on to science? My mother and father are both engineers and from as young as I can remember they have influenced me toward engineering. To me, I see it as a way of life: they are very thoughtful as they go through life so researching, investigating and discovering how things work and have taught...[ Read Full Story ]
2:37 PM | Weekend update: Are GM foods toxic for the science communication environment? Vice versa? (video lecture & slides)
The National Academy of Sciences Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences program has posted videos from its recent Public Engagement with Gentically Modified Organisms symposium.  It was a really great event with lots of interesting presentation and even more fascinating discussion and debate among the participants. I gave a presentation on the first day: "Are GM foods toxic for the science communication environment? Vice versa?" (slides here).  Also was on a panel the last […]

January 23, 2015

11:52 PM | Fracking and climate change: solution or cause?
Hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” has reshaped energy in North America in the last decade - making it possible to extract oil and natural gas from traditionally hard areas to drill. Whether the emergence of this technique is for better or worse is still a hotly debated topic.Proponents argue that along with more affordable and domestic energy, fracking decreases greenhouse gas emissions, therefore slowing climate change.  A recent modelby the Pacific Northwest […]
3:05 PM | Should we care about the public's *climate science* literacy? What is "ordinary climate science intelligence" *for*?
A friend of mine posed this very appropriate, very basic,  very important question/challenge to me after reading the Measurement Problem: One thing i was left wondering after reading the paper was "should we care about people's OCSI ["Ordinary Climate Science Intelligence"] scores"? does "climate science comprehension" matter for anything meaningful? should we invest (any) resources in trying to increase people's science comprehension in this arena? and if so, WHY? does it, for example, […]
2:12 PM | HESS telescopes discover new source of gamma rays called a superbubble
Astronomers using the HESS telescopes have discovered a new source of high-energy gamma rays. Dubbed a superbubble, it appears to be a massive shell of gas and dust 270 light-years in diameter being blown outward by the radiation from multiple stars and supernovas. HESS also discovered two other gamma-ray sources, each a giant of its … Continue reading
2:20 AM | mt tangles with Curry again
Curry in over her depth without going in very deep at all. See the fireworks on the revived Only In It for the Gold blog. [more]

January 21, 2015

9:48 PM | Science of Science Communication 2.0, Session 2.1: What is science literacy? And what is it for?
So yesterday was session 2 of the "real space" version of Science Science Communication course ver 2.0.  The topic was public "science literacy" or "comprehension" & whether the NSF Indicators and other standardized assessments are "measuring what counts."  The list of assigned readings are here. Rather than summarize or sound off (again; I've done 738 posts on this topic since topic since this blog started in 1973), I thought I'd just post some questions & let you-- the 14 […]
9:10 PM | What Could Possibly Go Wrong
When self selected vigilantes assaulting armed strangers in public spaces? Consider this incident: According to the Hillsborough  Sheriff’s Office, [African-American] 62-year-old Clarence Daniels was entering Walmart with his legally concealed firearm to buy coffee creamer on Tuesday when he was spotted by 43-year-old vigilante Michael Foster. Foster, who is white, had observed Daniels conceal the weapon under his […]
2:55 PM | Not All Renewables Are Created Equal
This guest post is by Jonathan Trinastic, a physics graduate student interested ...
12:42 PM | ‘Nothing in the history of science is ever simple’
Once I finished Steven Weinberg’s book Dreams of a Final Theory, I figured I’d write a long-winding review about what I think the book is really about, and its merits and demerits. But there is a sentence in the seventh chapter – titled ‘Against Philosophy’ – which I think sums up all that the book essentially attempts to explain. Nothing in the history of science is ever simple. And Dreams of a Final Theory wants to make you understand why that is […]

January 20, 2015

12:45 PM | Target’s Canadian withdrawal is also a loss for patients
Target's withdrawal from Canada means we'll never see the introduction of ClearRx to the Canadian pharmacy marketplace.
10:08 AM | Does Hinchingbrooke spell the end for privately run NHS hospitals?
Well, it doesn’t look good, does it? The private sector comes in with a flourish and then when the financial going gets tough and they’re about to get a dressing down on quality, Circle just walks away. However, the reality is a bit more complex than that. This hospital has struggled financially for years. For more
3:43 AM | Five Top Tips for a Healthier, Happier Workforce in 2015
If you’re the owner or manager of a small to medium sized business, your New Year’s resolution for 2015 should be the cultivation of a healthier and happier workforce. Employee well-being is better for workers, better for you, and better for the bottom line. Last year, the average number of sick days taken per employee [...]
3:28 AM | Worker, 25, crushed by elevator; $15M lawsuit and $150K in OSHA fines
OSHA has issued fines to four companies in connection with the death of a 25-year-old worker who was crushed to death at a construction site at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Travis Miller, an employee of Miller’s Plumbing and Mechanical Inc. of Tallahassee, was killed on July 28, 2014. Miller was sitting in an open window [...]
2:48 AM | Did company intentionally disable safety device?
An employee can sue an employer outside of workers’ compensation if it can be proved the employer intended to cause injury to a worker. In this case, a worker was seriously injured when a safety device apparently failed to operate properly. Phillip Pixley was a maintenance worker for Pro-Pak Industries in Ohio. On July 2, [...]
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