Science

Silicon Valley’s Next Gender Thoughtcrime

Featured image Power Line can announce that it has identified the next Gender Thoughtcrime offender in Silicon Valley, and it is a doozy. First, here are a few samples from the transgressing article (author ID and publication reference at the end): [O]ver the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and »

Liberals Are For Science—Until They’re Not

Featured image I think it was our pal Charles Kesler who first quipped that “social Darwinism” was the only kind of Darwinism liberals opposed—a line I have deployed to great effect many times. But it appears he may be mistaken about this. It appears that liberals are increasingly upset with evolutionary science as it reveals gender differences, and goodness, some of this science might even show up on a Google search, at »

The Factual Feminist on Gender Differences in Math and Science

Featured image Leave it to Christina Hoff Sommers, in her “Factual Feminist” video series, to bring clarity to the Google-fueled controversy about women in math and science. This video is from three years ago, but it gets right at the heart of the matter. (I wonder if it comes up in a Google search? Well, I’m not going to waste my time finding out.) »

How Google Has Just Harmed Its Women Employees

Featured image Last week we noted here how the move to “ban the box” of criminal convictions on employment application forms actually increased discrimination against blacks, and with its decision to fire the author of the infamous “diversity memo,” Google has just done its women employees a huge disservice, likely leading to more discrimination against women. David Bernstein of the Scalia Law School at George Mason University offers this shrewd observation: How »

Liberalism Backfires Again, Chapter 14,279

Featured image One thing that is reliable about liberal policy ideas is that they will generate unintended consequences and perverse results, 95 out of 100 times. So of course one might have predicted that the move to “ban the box” asking about criminal convictions on employment application forms would result in increased racial discrimination. And now we have the social science to back up this common sense perception. From the Quarterly Journal »

Round Up the Usual RoundUp Suspects

Featured image It’s been no secret that environmentalists have wanted to ban the popular herbicide RoundUp for a long time now—because chemicals! Because Monsanto!—and their persistent lobbying paid off when in 2015 the UN’s World Health Organization declared glyphosate, the active ingredient of RoundUp, to be a “probable carcinogen”—a conclusion not shared by any U.S. or European government agency. The WHO’s declaration was based on “finding” of its own International Agency for »

This Week in the Annals of Social Science

Featured image The Washington Post reports the following: A host of research suggests that as it gets hotter, people tend to make worse decisions: Not only do we get more ornery and cranky — we can also make unwise long-term decisions whose effects we’ll feel well after the temperature has dropped. This may explain a lot about Congress. As good a reason as I can think of for simply shutting down Washington »

Another Left-Wing Science Scandal

Featured image Glyphosate is the active ingredient in RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill just about any plant. Since it would kill the crop as well as the weeds, for quite a few years it couldn’t be used over the top of an emerging crop. Instead, its use was restricted to lower-value burndown situations, where weeds in a field would »

Liberal Sexism and Science Denialism

Featured image Two days ago I mentioned the sacking of Uber board member David Bonderman for the unpardonable sin of making a sexist joke at an Uber meeting: “There’s a lot of data,” Ms. Huffington said, “that shows when there’s one woman on the board it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.” “Actually,” Mr. Bonderman said, “what it shows is that it’s much more likely »

Conservatives Are Ugly, Too

Featured image Back in January I reported here on social science research that concluded that conservative politicians are better looking than liberal politicians, but do you really need social science to prove this? Here’s one data set: However, while conservative politicians may be better looking, there’s new social science that concludes liberal thinkers and writers are better looking than conservative thinkers and writers. Here’s a news summary: Lönnqvist’s team of researchers looked »

Today in the Annals of Science

Featured image The science community, if such as thing can be said to exist as a singular entity, wonders why public regard for science has slipped. Maybe it has to do with stories like this, included in this week’s Nature magazine news roundup: Controversial microplastics study to be retracted The authors of a high-profile paper about the dangers of fish consuming small particles of plastic say that they will retract their study, »

Scenes from the Science March

Featured image The “March for Science” is underway today, featuring the usual mountebanks like Michael Mann and Bill Nye. Liberals sure are fond of marching. It is doubtful that this march represents a true cross-section of actual scientists, but you never know. In any case, the whole thing parodies itself, making our job easy. In 2004, Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin wrote a shocking admission in the New York Review of Books: “Most »

Civil War on the Left, Part 38: The Beclowning of Science

Featured image With the sensational success of the Wymyn’s march a few days after Trump’s inauguration on everyone’s mind (/sarc), the science community decided that it needs a march of its own, because as everyone knows Trump hates science, and as we also know there was no science at all before federal funding. The March for Science is scheduled for April 22, which is Earth Day (also Lenin’s birthday by “coincidence”). And »

It’s a Trappist!

Featured image The cool science news of the week is that astronomers have identified seven planets circling the star known as Trappist 1 just a wee 39 light years away from us, three of which might be in the “goldilocks” zone that could support life. I have two predictions. First, if we think any of these planets are actually habitable and ever decide to try some kind of expedition to the planet »

Fake Science Gets Smoked—and What It Means for Climate Change

Featured image Cast your mind back to the late 1990s, when trial lawyers and state attorneys general were after the tobacco companies for what resulted in the “Master Settlement Agreement” by which the tobacco companies agreed to pay tribute of billions of dollars to the states for decades to come in exchange for relief from the uncertainty of endless private and public litigation. I think it was a great deal for Big »

Hans Rosling, RIP

Featured image I’ve got a heavy class schedule today, but I just saw the sad news that the great Swedish demographer and statistician Hans Rosling has died at the too early age of 68. He’s not called “the Jedi master of data” for nothing. Among other great creations of his is Gapminder, where you can visualize all kinds of data. I’ve used the site a lot in the classroom with students to »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Who’s Against Science Again?

Featured image Next time you hear someone repeat the thoughtless cliche that conservatives are “anti-science,” direct them to the YouTube video below, which has been making the rounds the last few days and has had nearly 600,000 views as of this afternoon. Here you will take in a typically politicized student, at South Africa’s University of Cape Town, arguing that “Science as a whole is a product of western modernity, and the whole »