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Posts Tagged "writing"

Anthropology in Practice

Modern Lessons From a Lost Language

he back side of the Magdalena document shows  translations for numbers from Spanish to a lost language.  Photo by Jeffrey Quilter

Note: This article originally appeared on AiP on December 13, 2010. It won a Research Blogging Award. It’s hard to imagine that knowledge could be lost today. Technology seems to have put the ability to know almost everything within our grasp. So when researchers announce they “found” a previously unknown Peruvian language, it’s a pretty tantalizing [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Why Education Needs More Radioactive Spiders

andrew-garfield-the-amazing-spider-man-image-4

Education needs more radioactive spiders. Stay with me. Remember Peter Parker? His childhood wasn’t easy. Both of his parents– Richard and Mary– were killed on a mission as double agents. Raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May in Queens, Peter spent most of his childhood without an identity. Now, Peter was a good student. [...]

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Context and Variation

The Edge’s Annual Question: The Way We Produce and Advance Science

This year, I was invited to contribute to the Edge Foundation’s Annual Question. Other contributor include Helen Fisher, Irene Pepperberg, Alan Alda, Nina Jablonski, Jay Rosen, and, well 150 others: http://www.edge.org/responses/what-scientific-idea-is-ready-for-retirement The question was, “What scientific idea is ready for retirement?” My contribution: The Way We Produce And Advance Science Last year, I spearheaded a [...]

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Context and Variation

Women in Science: Welcome But Not Welcome

A few months ago, I received the following email from one of the leaders of a Cool Science Thing. We’ll call him Dude from Cool Science Thing (DCST). What follows is the email from him, modified only to preserve anonymity. It read: Dear Kate, I am writing to you at the urging of [Prominent Female [...]

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Context and Variation

Dead Crickets Cannot Sing at All: A Paleofantastical Review

“The first thing you have to do to study 4,000-year-old DNA is take off your clothes.” Marlene Zuk’s new book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live begins in classic science-writer style. This provocative line pulls the reader into a world where Science Happens, but in a way that isn’t [...]

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Context and Variation

Defensive Scholarly Writing and Science Communication

Photo from April 21st 2013 intraleague bout at Twin City Derby Girls. Jammer Hurrycane Jackie shows her defensive stance.

A few weeks ago I was reading over page proofs for a now-published manuscript, and I must have had my science writer brain on. I started to read what I had written and, for one excruciating moment, was horrified at what I saw. The writing seemed so stiff, so lifeless! Who the heck was I [...]

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Context and Variation

2012 Best of Context and Variation

This here blog is many things — ladybusiness explainer, bad science outer, and a place where I reflect on higher education and the academic life. Today is the last day of the semester here at the U of I, there’s a lovely dusting of snow on everything, and it seemed like a nice time to [...]

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Context and Variation

Make Yourself Accountable

writing tonyhall sq

My greatest insecurity as an assistant professor is scientific writing and publishing. My training and abilities were already somewhat strong in teaching and mentoring, as well as planning, conducting and analyzing research. Something about that last step from conference presentation or analysis to paper terrifies me, though. While I can identify the various experiences that [...]

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Context and Variation

On Bad First Drafts

This post first appeared on my old blog on March 16, 2011. I’m writing a post tomorrow relevant to this topic so thought I would re-post it today, to have it fresh in my reader’s minds. And I’ll just tell you the good news if you are a more recent reader: the book I refer [...]

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Culturing Science

The Best Things I’ve Read All Week (8 Jan 2012)

girlreading

Here are the best things I’ve read all week. The pieces are not necessarily news and could be decades old, and they’re probably longform writing but not always. Maybe there is one link, maybe there are forty. But they all were thought-provoking enough that they hopped around in my brain long past the read. Enjoy. [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Star Filmmakers Found in Unlikely Spot

Two kids in lab coats and goggles apparently doing an experiment.

In Tyson Schoeber’s class at Nootka Elementary School in Vancouver, 15 fourth through seventh graders struggle to read, write or do math at a level near that of their peers in other classes. Ten-year-olds have entered Schoeber’s program, called THRIVE, virtually unable to read independently (see “One Man’s Mission to Save Struggling Students”). Yet Schoeber [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Watch Me Speak: Google+ Hangout “On Air” (Jan 11, 7pm Pacific)

google_plus

I’m going to be participating in a Google+ Hangout “On Air” tomorrow night. Google+ Hangouts are multi-user video-chats, but they’re limited to 10 users. Hangouts “On Air” are, apparently, open to everyone to watch (though limited in the number of people who can actively participate, or something like that). Anyway, AV Flox (twitter, G+), who [...]

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Thoughtomics

My first year as a MSM science writer

My blog post

Happy belated new year everyone! 2011 was a wonderful year for me. Not only did my blog move to its shiny new abode at Scientific American, I also joined the science desk of NRC Handelsblad, a daily Dutch newspaper. I started out as an intern and was later hired as a staff writer. Since I’m [...]

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