Category Archives: Science and Politics

Science Budget: the White House Proposal

Following up on John’s post, the Obama administration has released a detailed budget proposal. (John was talking about the House Republicans’ proposal.) Without going into any judgments, the White House budget is much more favorable for science. Here are summaries … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics | 14 Comments

The Scholar and the Caliph

Kudos to Physics World for trying out an interesting experiment — publishing a work of fiction. No, I’m not being snarky about some science article I think is woefully misguided; they really did publish a short story rather than a … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics, Words | 19 Comments

Good Sentences

Timothy Ferris, in The Science of Liberty: In 1900 there was not a single liberal democracy in the world (since none yet had universal suffrage); by 1950 there were twenty-two. Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution has an ongoing series of … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics, Science and Society, Words | 27 Comments


I keep meaning to write something substantive about the theft of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, but my day job does sometime intervene. (Over six hundred postdoc applications in theoretical physics, but … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Science and Politics | 127 Comments

Apparently Astronomy is Un-American

John McCain has a twitter account. Yes, that’s horrifying enough, but then there’s the actual content of what he writes. At least he is using in creative and productive ways! No, he isn’t. Yesterday he announced: Tmr I am gonna … Continue reading

Posted in Internet, Science and Politics | 37 Comments

The Varieties of Crackpot Experience

Frank Tipler is a crackpot. At one point in his life, he did very good technical work in general relativity; he was the first to prove theorems that closed timelike curves could not be constructed in local regions of spacetime … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics | 109 Comments

Steven Chu Nominated to be Secretary of Energy

This is fantastic news. Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and 1997 Nobel Laureate in Physics for his work in laser cooling of atoms, has been nominated to be the next Secretary of Energy in the Obama … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics | 45 Comments

Will NASA Rise from the Ashes?

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, which some time back scraped up direct evidence of water on Mars’s surface, is slipping gently into the night. Not a surprise; the mission was always scheduled to last just a few months, and at this … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Science and Politics | 16 Comments

Where They Stand on Science

Not to give in completely to nepotistic back-scratching, but Jennifer has done the thankless task of combing the web sites of John McCain and Barack Obama for statements about science, and reports back on what she found. This comes on … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics | 46 Comments

Pocket Change

I made a chart! This is the kind of thing you do when you return from a long trip and are jet-lagged. These are the 2008 research budgets for physical sciences, in billions of dollars, for the main funding agencies … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Science and Politics | 28 Comments