In the beginning, there was Neil Hall’s tone deaf “Kardashian Index”. Then there was Science Magazine’s list of 50 Twitter science superstars. Combined they painted a pretty clear picture that being active on social media was only considered a desirable characteristic in a thin slice of the population – you know, white dudes.
Hall did so by mocking young scientists who are active and effective on social media. Science Magazine did so by featuring very few women or people of color in their list.
PZ Myers, who did make Science Magazine’s list, takes them, particularly the editors, to task:
Isn’t it weird how invisible people suddenly become apparent if you just look for them?
In doing so, PZ reminded me of a Blues Brothers themed piece I wrote a few years ago for Nature’s Soapbox Science about finding audiences where they are on social media. Rather than fighting over the niche audience of science fans, we need to be convincing people to be science fans – much like Jake and Elwood convinced people to like the Blues. Continue reading “Are you a Twitter Science Superstar?”
Representative Jackie Speier (CA, 14th District) has taken Science Magazine to task (PDF of full letter here) for their controversial cover and controversial response to criticism of that cover.
The July ll issue of Science Magazine featured a lurid cover photograph of transgender women in tight dresses and high heels with their heads cropped out of the frame.
Continue reading “The Representative Disapproves”
Charles Bennett has a beef with the wording of an article title in Science: “At long last, Gravity Probe B satellite proves Einstein right”.
I find myself frequently repeating to students and the public that science doesn’t “prove” theories. Scientific measurements can only disprove theories or be consistent with them.
Instead of going on about the philosophy of science at length, let’s just quote the spot-on quote from their response:
Bennett is completely correct. It’s an important conceptual point, and we blew it.
Genomycism – the unsubstantiated belief that the cataloging of the genomic sequence of an individual conveys useful understanding about their ancestry, current characteristics, and disease risk with high degrees of accuracy and predictive power.
An important policy forum article has appeared in the most recent issue of Science discussing the expectations for the benefits of genomics, the issues created when those expectations are unrealistic, overinflated, and over-hyped. Continue reading “Genomycism: “Deflating the Genomic Bubble””