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Science Sushi: 2012 in Review

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Tonight, we usher in a brand new year and say farewell to 2012. The first full year here at Scientific American Blogs. The year of the Higgs Boson. The year Curiosity landed on Mars. The year the world was ending, but didn’t.

It’s been a good year here at Science Sushi. In the past year…
…I have posted 60 posts
…with several hundred thousand views
…from more than 25 countries
…with 269 comments

Most popular posts of the year? Well, controversy swirled around my posts related to organic farming, including why the failure of Prop 37 was a good thing, how bad reporting turns to fearmongering, and pesticides might not be as scary as we think, with added attention to my 2011 posts. Sharks were a hot topic, too, with my posts on the myth of bull shark testosterone and how shark populations are dwindling drawing in a lot of readers. Brain boosts from music and damages from Toxoplasmosa also ranked high on the list. My readers were intrigued by medical topics, from jellyfish sting treatments to reprogrammed heart muscle and the part played by scientists in bad reporting. Not surprisingly, sex was popular, from posts on big butts, Wild Sex (definitely worth watching!) and sex-deprived flies making the short list. I was most happy to see that some of my more creative posts also fared well; my heartfelt weavings of personal experience, science, and music, Taking Einstein’s Advice, Biochemically, All Is Fair and my 2011 post Time—And Brain Chemistry—Heal All Wounds were also among the most-read posts of 2012.

I’m thankful for the wonderful year that I have had here at Scientific American, and am excited to start 2013 on such a high note. Thank you to all of you who read this blog: let’s keep this bio-nerdy party going all through 2013!

Christie Wilcox About the Author: Christie Wilcox is a science writer and blogger who moonlights as a PhD student in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Hawaii. Follow on Google+. Follow on Twitter @NerdyChristie.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. julianpenrod 4:43 pm 12/31/2012

    This is not so much as “science” in 2012, but, rather, a description of the evidently currently perennial state of the “field”, which also includes its doting devotees.
    The issue of “science” constantly recanting statements it authoritatively makes, and even guides policy based on, is still a major factor in ignoring “science’s” proclamations that it finds the truth and can be trusted. It claims one thing to be unequivocally true, then, five ot ten years lkater, says something else is inherently obvious. And devotees obligingly refuse to to typify this constant recanting and re-recanting as a demonstration that nothing “science” says can be trusted, because “science” itself will override it a decade or so later. Instead, they say everything “science’ says is true because they are willing to admit when it’s untrue. If religion carried on like this, the devotees would insist that that was grounds to make religion illegal! Instead, they see “science’ willing to admit it made a mistake as making it right for “science” to promote petrochemical waste products as “medicine”, despite their never being tested for efficacy or safety or being accompanied by small type warnings that they might not work at all and can have effects worse than what the crooks are merketing them to handle.
    Which is only one facet of the state of “science” as an effective thought control mafia, with dons, or doyens, of the “science” scene at the upper levels; “street generals” and gunsels being those who write aricles ignoring “science’s” faults or placing comments gratuitously praising “science” where it isn’t deserved; and, at the lowest levels, the “pigeons” who believe what they’re told to believe.
    A good example can be the reaction to, among other things, points I raised with respect to the century anniversary of the “Titanic” event this past year. I pointed out numerous flaws in the “official story”. Monstrously egregious ones such as that it relies on the “rank and file” largely not realizing that no seaman would ignore the sea. That none would go to sea without the requisite number of lifeboats. None would sail so far from normal shipping lines that they couldn’t be reached. None would sit only ten miles away and watch distress flares going off and the ship tilting and assume, as the captain of the “Californin” supposedly did, that the flares were celebrations by the passengers and the position of the ship was just “an illusion” caused by its position. In reality, a captain would send a boat out with crew to travel the ten miles and make sure everything was alright. And that doesn’t include such facets as that it’s unluikely to the point of being all but impossible that a ballroom band, in subfreezing temperatures, would be able to finger their instruments. And include the issue of the phantom tugs shown on newsreels easing “Titanic” out of Southhamption, whose names on their sterns are blanked out in the film! All legitimate, yet replies were never more than sp[ecious, and mostly just contemptuous.
    The “ethic” of devotees is not, “This is a criticism of ‘science’, but we can easily disprove it”, it’s, “Someone is criticizing ‘science’. Let’s attack them and mock them and call them names and talk about ‘tinfoil hats’”. And this is a facet of “science” lasrt year, this year, next year and apparently into many years beyond.

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