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Posts Tagged "Personal"

Absolutely Maybe

No guts, no glory? The fear and attraction of risky winter sports

Illustration of ski-jumping

This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Science at the Sochi Olympics The one time I went flying off the side of a mountain on skis, I certainly didn’t mean to. Before I hit the ground, there was a surprising amount of time for reflection – and more on the long painful schlep down to [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Inching closer towards a science base for justice

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In a courtroom, the full power of the state comes down on an individual. No one should have to face that on their own. A criminal defense lawyer was making this argument to me after a long day in the court we were both working in. I’d asked him, how could he defend that man? [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Voices, silence, strength and Judith Lumley: A women in science mentoring tale

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It began, as life changes often do, when I bought a book. It was in Sydney and I wrote the year in it: 1982. You know when it feels as though something could have been written just for you? That. I was 21, pregnant and more than a bit scared. The book, Birth Rites, Birth [...]

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Absolutely Maybe

Absolutely Maybe: A blog that’s probably about evidence and uncertainties

Photo of me in yellow suit

I’m a child of the ‘60s. That helps explain my fascination with creating Pop Art like this blog’s banner. There’ll be quite a bit of it here, as well as cartooning. I’m also fascinated with epidemiology, bias and how we know things. I’ve guest-blogged a bit about health in the past. But I’m excited to get to [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Mind Wandering: A New Personal Intelligence Perspective

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Once accused of being absent-minded, the founder of American Psychology, William James, quipped that he was really just present-minded to his own thoughts. Most recent studies depict mind wandering as a costly cognitive failure with relatively few benefits (Mooneyham and Schooler, 2013). This perspective makes sense when mind wandering is observed by a third party [...]

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Culturing Science

The Evolution of Grief, Both Biological and Cultural, in the 21st Century

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Three months ago, I received an email informing me that a high school friend, Pat, had died. I read his obituary and my body stopped functioning. I froze on the spot, limbs tense but trembling. My mouth went dry, my vision blurred. As I waited for my train in the packed station, I could barely [...]

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Doing Good Science

What do I owe society for my scientific training? Obligations of scientists (part 6)

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One of the dangers of thinking hard about your obligations is that you may discover one that you’ve fallen down on. As we continue our discussion of the obligations of scientist, I put myself under the microscope and invite you to consider whether I’ve incurred a debt to society that I have failed to pay [...]

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Doing Good Science

Teaching chemistry while female: when my very existence was a problem.

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Not quite 20 years ago, I was between graduate programs. I had earned my Ph.D in chemistry and filed my applications to seven Ph.D. programs in philosophy. (There were some surreal moments on the way to this, including retaking the GRE two weekends after defending my chemistry dissertation — because, apparently, the GRE is a [...]

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Doing Good Science

I am science, and so can you!

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Following up on my post yesterday about my own journey with science, I wanted to offer some words of encouragement to those who are still in the early stages of their own journey. I was prompted to write them by Dr. Isis, as part of her excellent and inspiring Letters to Our Daughters Project. Dr. [...]

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Doing Good Science

I am science … or am I?

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Kevin Zelnio kicked it off on Twitter with a hashtag, and then wrote a blog post that shared the details of his personal journey with science. Lots of folks have followed suit and shared their stories, too — so many that I can’t even begin to link them without leaving something wonderful out. (Search the [...]

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Doing Good Science

My story from the ScienceOnline 2012 banquet.

This year at ScienceOnline, the conference banquet featured storytelling organized by The Monti, a North Carolina non-profit organization dedicated to building community by getting people to share their true stories with each other. Conference goers were asked to share stories on the theme of “connections”. The stories had to be true, and storytellers had to [...]

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Doing Good Science

Ada Lovelace and the Luddites.

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Today is Ada Lovelace Day. If you are not a regular reader of my other blog, you may not know that I am a tremendous Luddite. I prefer hand-drawn histograms and flowcharts to anything I can make with a graphics program. I prefer LPs to CDs. (What’s an LP? Ask your grandparents.) I find it [...]

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Doing Good Science

Let’s talk about “Doing Good Science”.

Welcome to my shiny new blog at Scientific American! Here, we’ll be talking about what’s involved in doing good science — and about what ethics has to do with it. Doing good science includes: Building a reliable body of knowledge about the world and how it works. The world is full of phenomena, and the [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

You’ve met me…so come in, pull up a chair, and tell me a bit about yourself

G’morning! You’ve already met me, but I’d like to get to know you better and have this column to be a conversation between us. So, in the tradition of Ed Yong’s Not Exactly Rocket Science: the Who Are You thread, “1) Tell me about you. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? [...]

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The Ocelloid

The protists and I are back — bringing cells, evolution and fossils!

A Paramecium cell with DNA in blue and prey E.coli bacteria in red and green.

And we’re back! The protists have never actually left, but some of us have pursued them (or rather, employment related to them) all the way into the cornfields of Indiana*. Apologies for the disappearance: I think it’s more precise to say that I clumsily tumbled here in August (still a bit dazed), rather than having [...]

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