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It’s unbelievable that this came from Scientific American

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In “Entertainers’ Sticking Up for Science: The Help We’ve Been Pleading For?” (Scientific American, March 9, 2012), Marc Kuchner reports

On the one hand, the outlook for science looks bleak. Last month, Nina Fedoroff, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said that she was “scared to death” by the anti-science movement. “We are sliding back into a dark era,” she said, as reported in the Observer. “And there seems little we can do about it. I am profoundly depressed…”

The anti-science movement?

But on the other hand, signs of a cultural shift toward interest in science might be appearing all around us. For example, you may have noticed that Natural History has infiltrated home decorating. Last year, a shop called “Curiosity… Intriguing Objects for the Home” opened in my neighborhood in downtown Baltimore. The store sells antique star maps, pieces of coral, and brass magnifying glasses—the accoutrements of a fin de siècle science museum. Across the street from Curiosity, Shofer’s furniture store is displaying glass Bell jars and large Audubon-Society-style prints of jellyfish and sharks.

Well, if home decor is all you want … Hey, if it’s just historical trivia, we can throw in Darwin too …

Anyone still got old Darwin-grunge textbooks they had to pay for?

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2 Replies to “It’s unbelievable that this came from Scientific American

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    Darwin grunge!

  2. 2
    scordova says:

    We here at UD support science and scientists and the scientific enterprise. Some scientists don’t like us, but one day the next generation will thank UD for helping set science straight on a couple matters (like the origin of life).

    That said, there is some frightening anti-science going around, like from Feminists like Sandra Harding:

    But if we are to believe that mechanistic metaphors were a fundamental component of the explanations the new science provided, why should we believe that the gender metaphors were not? A consistent analysis would lead to the conclusion that understanding nature as a woman indifferent to or even welcoming rape was equally fundamental to the interpretations of these new conceptions of nature and inquiry. Presumably these metaphors, too, had fruitful pragmatic, methodological, and metaphysical consequences for science. In that case, why is it not as illuminating and honest to refer to Newton’s laws as “Newton’s rape manual” as it is to call them “Newton’s mechanics”?

    Sandra Harding
    The Science Question in Feminism

    and here is another example of anti science sentiment as reported in The Nation

    When social psychologist Phoebe Ellsworth took the podium at a recent interdisciplinary seminar on emotions, she was already feeling rattled. Colleagues who’d presented earlier had warned her that the crowd was tough and had little patience for the reduction of human experience to numbers or bold generalizations about emotions across cultures. Ellsworth had a plan: She would pre-empt criticism by playing the critic, offering a social history of psychological approaches to the topic. But no sooner had the word “experiment” passed her lips than the hands shot up. Audience members pointed out that the experimental method is the brainchild of white Victorian males. Ellsworth agreed that white Victorian males had done their share of damage in the world but noted that, nonetheless, their efforts had led to the discovery of DNA. This short-lived dialogue between paradigms ground to a halt with the retort: “You believe in DNA?”

    Biology Under Attack
    By Barbara Ehrenreich and Janet McIntosh

    Yet we here at UD have not only defended the existence of DNA but also the DNA that many biologists have called junk. UD has stood up to fight against anti-scientific views.

    Some of the anti-science comes from the apparent hostility between evolutionary biologists and feminists as illustrated by Richard Dawkins Draws Feminist Wrath. Such squabbles by Dawkins only tend to generate more anti-science sentiment.

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