NEW LINKONOMICON ENTRY: “Where Do Baby Sea Turtles Go During Their Lost Years?” by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science at National Geographic Phenomena
Hatchling sea turtle heads toward the North Hartsville Gyre (Photo Credit: Josh Witten; CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Ever wonder where baby sea turtles go to grow up – those awkward middle years between hatchlings racing through a seagull flock of attrition and being nearly impervious adults?
My kids have. Until now, I had to tell them “I don’t know.” Not just because I didn’t know, but because no one really knew. There were guesses, but there wasn’t evidence.
Read Ed Yong’s great piece at National Geographic Phenomena to hear the clever way researchers from the University of Central Florida collected data to back up (mostly) some well-reasoned hypotheses.
Well, not just the Sunday Science Poem. I suppose his remarks could be construed to be about poetry, more generally, and about Robert Frost, more specifically (as the remarks were made in honor of Robert Frost’s passing earlier in 1963):
At bottom, he held a deep faith in the spirit of man, and it is hardly an accident that Robert Frost coupled poetry and power, for he saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself. When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.
-President John F Kennedy, Remarks at Amherst College, 26 October 1963
*Hat tip to Greg Proops on The Smartest Man in the World Podcast.
On the one hand, it has been a rough couple of months for science communication. We’ve been reeling from problem with sexism/racism/harassment to another. The reputations of even science communication juggernauts like Scientific American and Nature Magazine have not survived intact.
On the other hand, we seem to actually be talking about these issues publicly, which may be a sort of progress.
Established institutions, with their established audiences, retain the capacity to dominate such public discussions. In a must-read post (originally published last week and now republished on the excellent LadyBits), our Raleigh Sewer Tour buddy Anne Jefferson explains the problem of institutions, who claim to not be sexist or racist, providing a platform for bad actors to amplify their sexist and racist messages. As she lays out the problem, it is akin to the issue of false balance in journalism surrounding issues like vaccinations.
Anne also lays out three easy steps to avoid handing your institution’s supposedly progressive megaphone to a jerk. My favorite is tip #1:
If you receive racist or sexist material for publication, DON’T PUBLISH IT. Throw it out.
Letter and drawing from Mary Anning announcing the discovery of a fossil animal now known as Plesiosaurus dolichodeirus, 26 December 1823 (Public Domain)
Mary Anning described the discovery of a plesiosaur to the world in a letter from 26 December 1823. You were probably hungover.
*For the unfamiliar, Boxing Day is the day after Christmas.
From Wikipedia via Kind of A Menace via Scientific Illustration