Category Archives: Words

Twenty-First Century Science Writers

I was very flattered to find myself on someone’s list of Top Ten 21st Century Science Non-Fiction Writers. (Unless they meant my evil twin. Grrr.) However, as flattered as I am — and as much as I want to celebrate … Continue reading

Posted in Women in Science, Words | 42 Comments

Reality, Pushed From Behind

“Teleology” is a naughty word in certain circles — largely the circles that I often move in myself, namely physicists or other scientists who know what the word “teleology” means. To wit, it’s the concept of “being directed toward a … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Science, Time, Words | 66 Comments

The Branch We Were Sitting On

In the latest issue of the New York Review, Cathleen Schine reviews Levels of Life, a new book by Julian Barnes. It’s described as a three-part meditation on grief, following the death of Barnes’s wife Pat Kavanagh. One of the … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Religion, Words | 77 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

Bleeding Edge

I think we can all agree that what the world needs is more book reviews of famous novelists by theoretical physicists. The clamor has been, admittedly, somewhat muted, but I can see through the coy silence. (Can one see through … Continue reading

Posted in Words | 7 Comments

Atoms With Consciousness, Matter With Curiosity

Probably I’m the last scientfically-oriented person in the world to discover this, but Richard Feynman wrote a poem that he read as part of an address to the National Academy of Sciences. I stumbled across it because I was actually … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Words | 34 Comments

Ze Is Zir Own Person

With the increasing acceptance of gay marriage, there’s a temptation to think that we as a society have basically done away with all relevant forms of discrimination. “Hey, we abolished slavery, gave women the vote, and let gay people get … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Words | 32 Comments

Time, Born Again

Lee Smolin has a new book out, Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe. His previous subtitle lamented “the fall of a science,” while this one warns of a crisis in physics, so you … Continue reading

Posted in Time, Words | 38 Comments

The Realm of the Nebulae

Edwin Hubble never really liked the word “galaxy.” He was the one, of course, who was most responsible for making the word an important one, by showing that (at least some of) the fuzzy patches in the sky called “nebulae” … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Words | 8 Comments

Volumes of Science

This weekend featured the latest edition of the LA Times Festival of Books, the largest book festival in the U.S., and a great celebration of the written word. The Saturday and Sunday festivities feature a bounty of author events, especially … Continue reading

Posted in Science and the Media, Words | 6 Comments