April 18, 2015

2:59 PM | Weekend update: Science of Science Communication 2.0 -- Tamar Wilner confronts the "belief-comprehension" question in teaching evolutionary science
Showing why she has come to be kown as the "science communication honeybadger," Tamar Wilner bites into the #scicomm puff adder issue of what's the goal -- "belief" or "comprehension" -- question for teaching evolution. This was one of the central questions posed by the Session 10 reading materials. I've only posted an image of the beginning of her essay-- go to her site to read it.  I will leave the comment field open here, though, in case anyone wants to share their reaction (if […]

April 17, 2015

4:05 AM | Science of Science Communication 2.0, Session 12: science journalism!
Okay-- the   "Science of Science Communication 2.0" session all 7,937 real-space & on-line enrolees have been waiting for: science journalism! Reading list here, & study/discussion questions below. Well?
3:59 AM | 10 things MESSENGER will be remembered for
Later in April, one of the most successful NASA missions will come to an explosive close. Scientists and engineers at the NASA Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University will accelerate the robotic Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging spacecraft – shortened as MESSENGER – downward, like a bullet at Mercury. MESSENGER was launched in […]
12:17 AM |
  When a non-crazy parent — Alice Dreger — sits in on her son’s sex-ed class, taught by someone who thinks sex is, well… Read it and weep.  A taste: The lesson Jerry wanted to impart? This: “You’ll find a good girl. If you find one who says ‘no,’ that’s the one you want.” He […]

April 16, 2015

8:40 AM | Team Cheer announces national partnership with Science Cheerleader
​Team Cheer is excited to announce a new partnership with Science Cheerleader! The Science Cheerleaders are current and former cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers. They aim to inspire, engage, and empower young women to pursue science careers. These goals are a perfect match for Team Cheer. ​Science Cheerleader founder Darlene Cavalier, a former Philadelphia 76ers cheerleader, says, “I founded Science Cheerleader to playfully […]

April 15, 2015

6:17 PM | When you crack your knuckles, you’re creating bubbles
The next time you crack your knuckle, know that you’re actually creating little gas-filled bubbles in the fluid that lubricates your knuckle’s joints. The cavities appear because the bones at the joints separate rapidly, creating a low-pressure volume that’s filled by gas ‘pumped’ out of the higher-pressure fluid. This is what Greg Kawchuk, a professor at… Read More
12:07 PM | The organic side of fracking
Let's begin with a riddle - what do insecticides, make-up removers, and antipers...
8:49 AM | Using likelihood ratios -- not pee values -- to weigh the evidence on judges & motivated reasoning
Hey-- have I mentioned the new CCP study on judges & motivated reasoning yet?! I guess not! But here's another excerpt. This one shows how we supplemented our use of conventional "statistical significance"/NHT testing of the study results with use of Bayesian likelihood ratios. We did use former, but I think the latter are more useful generally for conveying practical strength of evidence & also for assessing the relative plausibility of competing hypotheses, an objective central […]
8:01 AM | Highlights from the Atlanta Science Festival
Wow, what a week! From March 21 to March 28, Science Cheerleaders made their presence known across the Atlanta Science Festival. Our thanks to Alexandria and Kiva who cheer for the Atlanta Falcons, as well as Brandi, Jamika, Kristy, Memorie, Mimi, Raquisha, and Zenobia for sharing your Science Cheerleading stories and the message of the importance of citizen science! We would also like to thank the Atlanta Metro Pop Warner team for joining us on stage to cheer for science...[ Read Full Story ]
7:41 AM | Five Safety Lessons Learned from the Sinking of the Titanic
Headlines about catastrophes, accidents and fines related to safety performance grab our attention, and there often is more than enough finger-pointing to go around. April 15th marks the 103rd year anniversary of a major maritime catastrophe: the sinking of the Titanic, arguably one of the most talked about safety tragedies of 20th century. The sinking of [...]
7:14 AM | Five Steps to Conducting an Effective Ergonomic Risk Assessment
Conducting an ergonomic assessment is a foundational element of the ergonomics process. Your ergonomics improvement efforts will never get off the ground without being able to effectively assess jobs in your workplace for musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) risk factors. Systematically conducting ergonomic risk assessments gives you a clear view of the risk present in your workplace. This [...]
7:01 AM | Family Sues, Claiming Excessive Overtime Caused Worker’s Death
The family of a man who worked at a slaughterhouse is suing his former employer, claiming excessive overtime hours doing strenuous work in cold conditions contributed to his death. The family of Bao Min Cheng filed the suit against Hallmark Poultry Processor Ltd. in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada. The lawsuit says Cheng died [...]
6:36 AM | (VIDEO) Accident Investigation: Farmer Crushed Under Tractor’s Tires
Related Construction Equipment Training DVDs: Front End Loader Safety DVD This program will concentrate on the basic safe operations for the standard front-end loader. View Product Backhoe Operations for Public Works Training Video Backhoe Operations for Public Works program focuses on the safe operation of backhoes. [...]
5:40 AM | Curious Bends – expanding nuclear power, the Bombay Blood Group, doubting the tobacco-cancer link & more
1. India’s new forest laws are criminalising tribes’ once-normal livelihoods “India has forest coverage of 23% and more than 200 million live in and around these forests and depend on them for their life, livelihood and cultural identity. But under the banner (some call it “guise”) of scientific management of forests, the intended objectives of […]
3:56 AM | Orbital ATK and engine-maker GenCorp disagree over cause of Antares crash
Under threat of significant financial losses, conflicting reports of what caused the October 28 (2014) Antares rocket crash have emerged – one from its manufacturer, Orbital ATK, and the other from its engine’s maker, Aerojet Rocketdyne. Reuters reports, Ronald Grabe, Orbital’s executive vice president and president of its flight systems group, told the annual Space […]

April 14, 2015

9:58 AM | Meet the Science Cheerleaders at the Cambridge Science Festival on April 18
Join Science Cheerleaders from Brown University (Hilary, Danielle, Aashna, Maria, and Ellen) and Erica from the New England Patriots cheerleaders in Cambridge, MA on April 18 for the at the Cambridge Public Library for a Science Carnival at the Cambridge Science Festival! This year’s carnival features a Robot Zoo! Come ready to participate in fun science activities and take pictures with our Science Cheerleaders! Sponsored by MIT, Biogen, and the City of Cambridge    
4:08 AM | Why it is a *mistake* to draw inferences about the (in domain) reasoning of experts from studies of motivated reasoning on the part of the general public
This is an excerpt from “ ‘Ideology’ or ‘Situation Sense’? An Experimental Investigation of Motivated Reasoning and Professional Judgment.” That paper reports the results of a CCP study designed to test whether judges are vulnerable to motivated reasoning. As described in more detail in a previous post, the answer turned out to be "yes and no": yes when they assessed societal risks like climate change and marijuana legalization, on which judges, like members […]
3:57 AM | Meet Science Cheerleader Hilary and founder Darlene at #GirlPOP2015
Come down to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on May 16 to meet Science Cheerleader Hilary and Science Cheerleader/SciStarter founder Darlene! #GirlPOP2015 will bring in over 3,000 girls and adults for this all-women event focusing on real-life topics affecting women and girls worldwide. Hilary and Darlene will lead a Science Cheerleader session for girls in grades K-12 for an interactive science-fueled experience!
3:55 AM | Join the Science Cheerleaders at the World Science Festival in NYC
Join the Science Cheerleaders at the World Science Festival  on May 31 in Washington Square Park! This year’s World Science Festival is expected to attract over 200,000 people eager to learn about and participate in fun science activities! Join us for Citizen Science projects that all ages can take part in, as well as photographs and cheers from our Science Cheerleaders!

April 13, 2015

12:59 PM | So are humans very good at designing computer programs to predict Supreme Court decisions? You tell me!
I’ve posted previously about the quality of “computer models” developed by political scientists for predicting judicial decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. So this is, in part, an update, in which I report what I’ve learned since then. As explained previously, the models are integral to the empirical proof that these scholars offer in favor of their hypothesis that judicial decisoinmaking generally is driven by “ideology” rather than “law.” That […]
6:06 AM | Lords Reform: An unnecessary procedure?
As the election looms, what might various parties' plans for reform of the House of Lords mean for the scrutiny of health and health care related legislation? Conor Farrington, a medical sociologist at CCHSR (but we stole him from political science), raises some concerns.

April 12, 2015

3:40 PM | "It's Hayek ... wait; it's Honey Boo Boo ... no, it's ... wtf!": cultural cognition "black-blue dress/Einstein-Monroe" worldview assessment tool!
Whoa! We were just fooling around with the design of study stimuli (you know, things like this & this), & all of a sudden one of us (AR) comes up with this graphic image the content of which we can't agree on!  Half of us on hand in the lab that day saw Hayek & the other half Honey Boo Boo!  WTF?!! Check it out!   So who is it? Hayek? Honey Boo Boo? Weird! Next we showed it to a nationally representative sample of 482 million Americans on MTurk.  It turns […]

April 11, 2015

1:15 PM | Weekend update: "Communicating normality"--a fragment
From something I'm working on in connection with the CCP Evidence-based science communication initiative. 1. Overview. This section describes an evidence-based and evidence-generating program of science communication  carried out in support of effective local policymaking. Known as “Communicating Normality,” the program aims to stimulate within key opinion-formation communities self-replicating interactions that maximize citizens’ exposure to the confidence of their own […]
11:13 AM | Crowdsourcing earthquakes is not the real achievement
This map stakes well the need for a decentralized earthquake warning system. The dark and light blue rings show where early earthquake warnings are available, while the reddish and yellow patches describe areas prone to earthquakes. There’s a readily visible disparity, which a team of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, leverages to outline how&ellipsis;Read the full post »

April 10, 2015

10:09 PM | The War At Home
Via Vox, this information and chart on death-by-cop: A huge majority of the more than 5,600 deaths on the map are from gunshots, which is hardly surprising given that guns are so deadly compared to other tools used by police. There are also a lot of noticeable fatalities from vehicle crashes, stun guns, and asphyxiations. […]

April 09, 2015

10:44 PM | Appomattox Day
On which that genteel butcher Bobby Lee, surrendered the treasonous Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant. Grant’s terms have generally been regarded as generous, to the point that the military leaders of the rebellion were spared the threat of criminal trials for the actions in defiance of properly constituted Federal authority.  Looking forward, not […]
2:07 PM | C'mon down! Talking about judges, climate scientists & motivated reasoning today at U. Colo.
Despite missing my connecting flight as a result of blogging in the Detroit Metropolitan Airport yesterday, I did manage to make it to Boulder! Will be giving lecture this afternoon on They Saw a Statutory Ambiguity (aka“Ideology” or “Situation Sense”? An Experimental Investigation of Motivated Reasoning and Professional Judgment).  If in neighborhood, stop by!

April 08, 2015

7:40 PM | Life Without Parole
So. Dzokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted on all thirty counts in the Boston Marathon Bombing and (closer still to home), the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier. Good. Now for sentencing, in which the grotesquely termed “Death Qualified Jury”™ will decide between execution and life without parole. Like an overwhelming majority of my Boston neighbors, […]
5:06 PM | "They saw a statutory ambiguity"--judges & motivated reasoning
“Yesterday” I mentioned that I and my collaborators—David Hoffman, Danieli Evans, Judge Eugene Lucci, and Katherine Cheng—had a new paper out, and that I’d say more “today.” So here is the first of a planned 73 blog posts on the paper, which describes a study we did on whether judges’ decisionmaking is vulnerable to distortion by cultural cognition. By now, all 14 billion readers of this blog, along with the remaining 18 other persons in the world […]

April 07, 2015

9:32 PM | So You Want To Win A Nobel Prize…
Excellent advice from one who has. Rule number two in this list of ten commandments goes beyond the needed snark (and the first principle, which might be called the Tao of science: the only way to achieve Nobelity is not to strive for it). This second principle actually says something dead on point on where […]
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