Scientific literacy

I’m not saying Greenfield’s a pseudoscientist. I point to her pseudoscientific reasoning. That is all

Like a good sharknado, Susan Greenfield is (a) ridiculous and (b) back for more. We all remember this defence of her claim that internet use causes autism, don’t we? I point to the increase in autism and I point to internet use. That is all. Well, whoopy do. On that basis, […]

Telling parents how vaccines are safe makes them *less* likely to vaccinate their kids

Here’s a classic science communication fiasco. Many of us believe empiricism enables the resolution of uncertainty with data, and that more information is better than less. That’s why we do science. One of the moral imperatives that drive us is that carefully scrutinized, systematically replicable, and objectively verifiable information trumps […]

Half-full glass latest: Americans beginning to accept heliocentrism

Three quarters of Americans believe that the Earth orbits the Sun. Three quarters. That’s almost all of the quarters. It’s practically everyone who is awake at any one time. Good news, huh? I mean, the opposing view — that the Earth is the centre of the universe, that the stars are […]

Polarity. It’s a useful concept

I’m on a bus, ploughing its way through an excessive headwind as yet another Atlantic storm blasts us to colour-coded distress (we are Code Red now; there are no more colours left). But even in distress, we have clever scientifically literate headlines. Fair play to RTE’s news website people for […]

Embarrassing scenes from science history: Apartheid in ’85 “not all bad”…methodologically speaking

Critics of science regularly suggest that applying empiricism to life serves to deny human beings their true dignity. Very frequently you hear complaints about sociologists, psychologists, and health scientists “treating people like numbers“. Because that’s what we do. We treat you like numbers. You number, you. Take this guy. I think […]