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Scientific American Editor Testifies at U.S. Senate

Mariette DiChristina

At a hearing on the future of federal research investment, a science magazine editor and three noted scientists asked the U.S. Senate to support basic research

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Doing Good Science

Are you saying I can’t go home until we cure cancer? Obligations of scientists (part 7)

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In the previous post in this series, we examined the question of what scientists who are trained with significant financial support from the public (which, in the U.S., means practically every scientist trained at the Ph.D. level) owe to the public providing that support. The focus there was personal: I was trained to be a [...]

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Doing Good Science

The purpose of a funding agency (and how that should affect its response to misconduct).

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In the “Ethics in Science” course I regularly teach, students spend a good bit of time honing their ethical decision-making skills by writing responses to case studies. (A recent post lays out the basic strategy we take in approaching these cases.) Over the span of the semester, my students’ responses to the cases give me [...]

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Doing Good Science

The Research Works Act: asking the public to pay twice for scientific knowledge.

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There’s been a lot of buzz in the science blogosphere recently about the Research Works Act, a piece of legislation that’s been introduced in the U.S. that may have big impacts on open access publishing of scientific results. John Dupuis has an excellent round-up of posts on the subject. I’m going to add my two [...]

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Observations

Obama Takes Aim at Climate Change, Cyber Security

whitehouse.gov

After a campaign that avoided climate change like the plague, President Barack Obama gave a State of the Union speech that put climate change on center stage. Early in the speech he encouraged law makers to revisit cap-and-trade as a way of tackling emissions of greenhouse gases. “I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, [...]

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Observations

House Science Member Says Earth Is 9,000 Years Old

The earth is about 9,000 years old, according to U.S. House Representative Paul Broun, who is also a physician and member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the House of Representatives. “There are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really [...]

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Observations

Best Countries in Science: SA‘s Global Science Scorecard

“Global society operates as a network of creativity and innovation.”–John Sexton, writing in Scientific American. In the October 2012 issue, we publish our Global Science Scorecard, a ranking of nations on how well they do science—not only on the quality and quantity of basic research but also on their ability to project that research into [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Understanding Your Mind Is Mission Critical

cutaway of head revealing brain

Guest Blog by Jamil Zaki* Earlier this year, Senator Tom Coburn published a report called “Under the Microscope,” in which he criticized the funding of any research he couldn’t immediately understand as important. Of particularly dubious value, in Coburn’s opinion, are the behavioral and social sciences—including my own field, psychology. Following his report, Coburn proposed [...]

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Talking back

Is American Science in Decline?

That is the title of a new book by two quantitatively oriented sociologists. The Harvard University Press offering goes beyond the reflexive and often  pessimistic assumptions that often imbue discussions about future prospects for U.S. science and technology.  Xu Xie of the University of Michigan and Alexandra A. Killewald of Harvard answer the self-posed query [...]

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