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Doing Good Science

Doing Good Science

Building knowledge, training new scientists, sharing a world.

On the apparent horrors of requiring high school students to take chemistry.

There's a guest post on the Washington Post "Answer Sheet" blog by David Bernstein entitled "Why are you forcing my son to take chemistry?" in which the author argues against his 15-year-old son's school's requirement that all its students take a year of chemistry.Derek Lowe provides a concise summary of the gist: My son will not be a chemist.

October 16, 2012 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Community responsibility for a safety culture in academic chemistry.

This is another approximate transcript of a part of the conversation I had with Chemjobber that became a podcast. This segment (from about 29:55 to 52:00) includes our discussion of what a just punishment might look like for PI Patrick Harran for his part in the Sheri Sangji case.

September 30, 2012 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Why does lab safety look different to chemists in academia and chemists in industry?

Here's another approximate transcript of the conversation I had with Chemjobber that became a podcast. In this segment (from about 19:30 to 29:30), we consider how reaction to the Sheri Sangji case sound different when they're coming from academic chemists than when they're coming from industry, and we spin some hypotheses about what might be going on behind those differences:Chemjobber: I know that you wanted to talk about the response of industrial chemists versus academic chemists to the Sheri Sangji case.

September 28, 2012 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Gender bias: ethical implications of an empirical finding.

By now, you may have seen the recently published study by Ross-Macusin et al. in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences entitled "Science faculty's subtle gender biases favor male students", or the nice discussion by Ilana Yurkiewicz of why these findings matter.Briefly, the study involved having science faculty from research-focused universities rate materials from potential student candidates for a lab manager position.

September 27, 2012 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Technical note about comments.

Comments have been getting stuck in moderation here for longer than usual because my email alerts telling me a comment has been posted and needs to be approved have stopped arriving.I'll try to get to the bottom of this (whether it's an issue with the blog software or my spam filters), but in the meantime, if you've tried to post a comment and it is taking a very long time to appear, feel free to email me (dr dot freeride at gmail dot com) to alert me to the problem.

September 9, 2012 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Safety in academic chemistry labs (with some thoughts on incentives).

Earlier this month, Chemjobber and I had a conversation that became a podcast. We covered lots of territory, from the Sheri Sangji case, to the different perspectives on lab safety in industry and academia, to broader questions about how to make attention to safety part of the culture of chemistry.

August 31, 2012 — Janet D. Stemwedel

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