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Posts Tagged "sociology"

Anthropology in Practice

The Obligation of Gifts

Photo by KDCosta, 2013.

For those of you with Christmas trees, they probably look a little barren following the unwrapping of presents. What did you get for Christmas? And what did you give in return? Gift giving is a large part of the holiday season, but for many the exchange of presents can be a stressful exercise. Some people [...]

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SA Biology Blogger Wins L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship

Christina Agapakis

The Miss America pageant is often judged to be somewhat of an insult to women. So I was once surprised to learn that the Miss America Organization is the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance to younger women. A total of $45 million in cash and scholarships was given out last year by MAO and [...]

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Convincing evidence: Our wills aren’t as free as we (or I) would like to think

As I professed in a previous post, I’m a hardcore believer in free will. No matter how far science goes in reducing our thoughts, emotions and decisions to deterministic physical processes, I have faith that we can, to a certain extent, choose our paths in life. And yet our freedom to choose can be compromised, [...]

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Guest Blog

Why Can’t Gravity Believers and Skeptics Get Along?

Credit: The Mad LOLscientist/Flickr (Original photo by Richard Peters)

Multiple media outlets around the world covered a study published last week in the journal Nature Climate Change.* This study sought to explain why “believers” in climate change cannot get along with “skeptics” and how “believers” can argue the matter better to convince “skeptics.” Seems like a fascinating dive into the sociology of science, until [...]

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Guest Blog

How Networks Are Revolutionizing Scientific (and Maybe Human) Thought

Visualization of social network analysis. (Calvinius/Wikimedia Commons)

Science and common sense are alike grounded in human experience. Yet these ways of thinking about things are often in conflict. Sometimes the simplicity of most commonsense explanations can make it hard to win people over to the complexity and uncertainties of most scientific arguments. Consider the textbook case of the mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Terms of Endearment: Why Do We Use Pet Names in Relationships?

Romantic pet names

I have been called a little owl, a swan and even a “panda-fish.” No, I’m not a supernatural, shape-shifting creature or a character in a children’s storybook. I’ve just been in a few relationships where cutesy, affectionate nicknames emerged as inside jokes. These names stuck around for months, even years – to the point where [...]

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Lonely Planet: Social Media Gets on Board in the Quixotic Search for Extraterrestrial Life

The count of exoplanets, those outside the Solar System, now has reached the multi-hundreds, with mucho mas inevitably to be counted. Working through financial troubles, SETI is again searching for intelligent life in the great Out There. So paraphrasing the relevant question posed by Enrico Fermi: If they’re out there, why aren’t they here? The [...]

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Should Car Ads Be Banned?

Never happen. But maybe they should be. A look at the ubiquitous aggressive driver in Psychology & Marketing, shows that he (more than she) tends to view a vehicle as an extension of The Self. “Perceiving cars as an extension to oneself might lead pe0ple to interpret any threat to their cars as a direct [...]

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Talking back

On “Media Refusal and Conspicuous Non-Consumption: The Performative and Political Dimensions of Facebook Abstention”

I just did something that I’m sure is not on any “helpful tips” list for aspiring science bloggers. To write this post, I just copied a title from an academic journal and hit <CTRL> V in the headline field of WordPress. I wouldn’t usually do a cut and paste, but this title brought a big [...]

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