Science

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 »

Will the Nobel Prize Be Protested?

Featured image I’m sure readers will recall how the Academy Awards were protested because not enough minorities were nominated? (Because, as everyone knows, Hollywood is a hotbed of racism.) Wait until the social justice crowd notices the gender breakdown of Nobel Prizes: The American Council on Science and Health notes these data, and comments: And, even when women do win the prize, they are often not given full credit. Dr. Nancy Hopkins, a »

Epic Greenfail of the Day

Featured image I hate to pile on the our earnest scientists trying to save the earth, and I’ve already given out a Green Weenie today, but this story is just too irresistible: Satellite tagging caused northwest orca’s fatal infection National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced a male orca died due to an infection at the site where it had been satellite-tagged. An expert panel says a dart tag deployed on endangered Puget »

Follow the Science, They Say

Featured image When it comes to the climate uber alles crowd, environmentalists insist we “follow the science.” Well let’s see whether Greenpeace follows this science. This morning in Washington DC there will be a press conference where a petition by 107 Nobel laureate scientists will call on Greenpeace to cease its reactionary opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Washington Post reports: 107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs By »

Why Did Agriculture “Arise”?

Featured image Narratives of human history conventionally say that agriculture “arose” around 13,000 years ago. But why? At Watts Up With That, Susan Corwin suggests a plausible explanation: Because it would work as CO2 became plentiful! All the academic articles say: “and then agriculture happened”. The “accepted wisdom”/consensus is: …here was no single factor, or combination of factors, that led people to take up farming in different parts of the world. But »

Epic Correction of the Decade

Featured image Hoo-wee, the New York Times will really have to extend itself to top the boner and mother-of-all-corrections at the American Journal of Political Science. This is the journal that published a finding much beloved of liberals a few years back that purported to find scientific evidence that conservatives are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness, and that the supposed “authoritarian” personality of conservatives might even »

The Crisis of Scientific Credibility

Featured image Last year we had ten-part series on the problem of science fraud, and we return to the subject now because pop culture is catching up, which is usually a sign of larger public trouble. The Puffington Host is on the story, reporting on the widespread practice of selective use of data and statistical techniques to produce “meaningful” results that are essentially bogus. Dan Sarewitz has a good column on this »

A Taxonomy of Climate Camps

Featured image Physicist Richard Muller of UC Berkeley offers up a remarkably unbiased classification of climate change thinkers in the unlikely venue of the Puffington Host. I think it isn’t half bad: In my book, “Energy for Future Presidents” (pg 74) I give the following categories: Alarmists. They pay little attention to the details of the science. They are “unconvincibles.” They say the danger is imminent, so scare tactics are both necessary »