Category Archives: Science and Society

Guest Post by Alessandra Buonanno: Nobel Laureates Call for Release of Iranian Student Omid Kokabee

Usually I start guest posts by remarking on what a pleasure it is to host an article on the topic being discussed. Unfortunately this is a sadder occasion: protesting the unfair detention of Omid Kokabee, a physics graduate student at … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Human Rights, Science and Society | 20 Comments

The Science of Interstellar

The intersection — maybe the union! — of science and sci-fi geekdom is overcome with excitement about the upcoming movie Interstellar, which opens November 7. It’s a collaboration between director Christopher Nolan and physicist Kip Thorne, both heroes within their … Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Science and Society | 47 Comments

Particle Fever: Catch It!

A brief search of the archives reveals that I truly have not done my job in plugging Particle Fever, the new documentary about particle physics and the Large Hadron Collider. I guess it would have been a bit premature, as … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Society, Science and the Media | 11 Comments

Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None

[Final update: DNLee’s blog post has been reinstated at Scientific American. I’m therefore removing it from here; traffic should go to her.] [Update: The original offender, “Ofek” at Biology Online, has now been fired, and the organization has apologized. Scientific … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Science and Society, Science and the Media, Women in Science, Words | 84 Comments

Purpose and the Universe

On Sunday I was privileged to give the keynote address at the American Humanist Association annual conference. Even better, people actually showed up for the talk, which for a Sunday morning event is pretty sweet. The talks were live-streamed, and … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Philosophy, Science and Society | 86 Comments

On Templeton

A few recent events, including the launch of Nautilus and this interesting thread on Brian Leiter’s blog, have brought the John Templeton Foundation (JTF) back into the spotlight. As probably everybody knows, the JTF is a philanthropic organization that supports … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Religion, Science and Society | 124 Comments

Upgrading the Public Lecture Experience

Apologies for the extended radio silence here at the blog. (Originally typed “radio science,” which I suppose is an encouraging sign from my subconscious.) My time and attention has been taken up by an interesting phenomenon known as “real work.” … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Society, Travel | 16 Comments

Higgs Boson Blues

Almost enough to make me believe in a benevolent force guiding the universe: Nick Cave, on his new album Push the Sky Away, has a song called “Higgs Boson Blues.” (Hat tip to Ian Sample.) Okay, don’t expect to hear … Continue reading

Posted in Higgs, Music, Science and Society | 5 Comments

Social Entropy

Noah Smith points us to “the derpiest thing ever posted on the internet” — a reflection on the history of empires and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Strictly speaking, probably not the derpiest thing ever posted; the internet is old, … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Society | 17 Comments

Electrical Resistance

A little while back, an anecdote was being passed around by liberal folks on Facebook that made Ann Romney look pretty bad. Apparently she said that a woman in the workforce “should be happy just to be out there in … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics, Science and Society | 36 Comments