A few weeks ago, I came across a fascinating review article in Science with the instantly compelling title, Poor human olfaction is a 19th-century myth . Like most people, I’ve been told that compared to many other animals, humans aren’t very good at smelling. Apparently this isn’t true, and stems more from 19th century notions of … Continue reading You smell fine
I wrote this piece on grant proposals about 6 months ago, which I remembered since I’m on a National Science Foundation review panel today! The panel lunch break is a good time to finally post it… There’s abundant advice out there about writing scientific grant proposals. Reading and reviewing a lot of proposals, however, I realize that … Continue reading How to annoy your grant reviewer, in 5 easy steps!
Why is science communication difficult? For subjects like vaccination, climate change, genetic modification, and more, there are rifts between the views of scientists and the views of large segments of the US population, rifts that seem driven not only by a lack of understanding of scientific concepts, but also by a lack of understanding of … Continue reading Fight the power (pose)
Summary: The background artwork at the café in the new UO Science Library features sketches from UO faculty and student notebooks. If you’re here, go check it out! [Update: Note Eric Johnson’s comment on the sunshades! Update: Lara Nesselroad, below, notes that there is an informational placard next to the artwork!] The Science Library here … Continue reading Science Sketches and Café Cartoons
[Edit, Sept. 25, 2016: In retrospect, this is a confusing post. The overall point is fine, but my contrived illustration is not a good one.] At an otherwise excellent talk some time ago, the speaker put up a graph like this (look below — not the cheetah)… …and said that the two sets of data points, … Continue reading You may not be interested in noise, but noise is interested in you
A few evenings ago I gave a “science pub” talk — part of a long-running series of public presentations that the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry runs at several sites in the state. (This was at a local pizza place, so thankfully I could just bike to it.) I called the talk “Glimpses of … Continue reading Science Pub 2016
As I briefly mentioned in my end-of-year book recap, one of the best books I read in 2015, and one of the best popular science books I’ve read ever, is Oliver Morton’s The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World. Geoengineering refers to the intentional manipulation of climate, usually in the context of combatting … Continue reading How I learned to stop worrying and love geoengineering