science


Bisphenol A might make you fat

(This is another archival repost, written for the old blog in 2009.) If you’ll excuse my tabloid headline writer… A year ago, I wrote Lies, damn lies, and tissue culture, describing some of the reasons why caution and healthy skepticism are required when assessing the conclusions of tissue culture studies. […]


The selfish gene drives an operon

This is another archival repost first written for the old blog in 2007. On Monday I mentioned John Maynard Smith’s videos at People’s Archive. They really are marvelous, and you should watch them all. One of the topics he discusses is horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, a subject I discussed […]


Lay Science: Suspending Disbelief

I was listening to an old episode of the SETI institute’s podcast Are We Alone, in which they talked to a CSICOP (or whatever it is they call themselves these days) investigator. He described how he approached claims of the paranormal: he was neutral, and he “suspended disbelief” while he […]


Risk compensation, shared space and unstable evolutionary strategies

This post probably doesn’t quite work, but at At War With The Motorist I continue the thread on shared space by considering the mechanism by which it works: risk compensation — the idea that when traffic management is ripped out, road users will perceive the road to be more risky […]


Journalology: What is the scientific paper?

A year ago, the discussions at the Science Online conference inspired me to explore the question “what is the scientific paper?” — and specifically, what is wrong with the scientific paper and what its future might be.  In time for this year’s conference, I’ve been reposting the the blogs on […]


Lay Science: The Selfish Genius

This was originally written a year ago on a now disused blog. I’m reposting it here because I enjoyed writing it so much that I wouldn’t want it to disappear. People love a good argument with Richard Dawkins. So many people are so desperately seeking reassurance that he is wrong, […]


Church leader declares crackpot ideas, gets free air time

This is another archival repost from the old blog — this one from March 2008. Wow, a slow news day, eh? The BBC, shunning predictable Chinese military aggression, another turn of the tides in Iraq, and yet more boring news about the economy, lead with “Brown criticised over embryo bill“. […]


Evelyn Fox Keller on genes, evolution, and epigenetics

This is another archival repost from the old blog, first published way back in March 2008. I’ve been following CBC’s How To Think About Science series, and caught the Evelyn Fox Keller episode the other day. It was interesting, but there were a couple of issues that I just can’t […]