Archive for May 26th, 2009


By Sheril Kirshenbaum | May 26, 2009 11:12 pm

For obvious reasons, I adore the art of Kei Acedera.

Unexpected Visitor, 2006
sea-dragons-illustration.jpgMore of her spectacular work here

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Marine Science, Personal
MORE ABOUT: art, diver, marine, oceans

Interested In Oceans?

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | May 26, 2009 2:56 pm

51kbh4ivbll_sl500_aa240_.jpgWhen in Long Beach earlier this month, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Wolf Berger; Professor of Oceanography Emeritus and Research Professor at
Scripps Institution of Oceanography.   Wolf has a terrific new book out called Ocean: Reflections on a Century of Exploration which covers, well… nearly everything!  From biodiversity and oceanography to marine geology and ocean history, if you’re interested in oceans, this book’s got it.  Berger covers corals reefs, climate change, plate tectonics, ocean currents, and so much more.  Here’s the description at Amazon:

The past one hundred years of ocean science have been distinguished by dramatic milestones, remarkable discoveries, and major revelations. This book is a clear and lively survey of many of these amazing findings. Beginning with a brief review of the elements that define what the ocean is and how it works–from plate tectonics to the thermocline and the life within it–Wolf H. Berger places current understanding in the context of history. Essays treat such topics as beach processes and coral reefs, the great ocean currents off the East and West Coasts, the productivity of the sea, and the geologic revolution that changed all knowledge of the earth in the twentieth century.

Ocean is a good companion for marine students or anyone interested in a detailed account of what’s going on beneath the surface.  And for our youngest readers who are budding marine scientists–or perhaps their parents–Wolf also has a very cute and informative children’s book called Feed Me! The Story of Penny the Penguin Chick.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Books, Marine Science

Unscientific America: The Table of Contents

By Chris Mooney | May 26, 2009 12:01 pm

As promised, here is the book’s table of contents, and there’s more to come:

From a Scientist and a Writer (Introduction)

1. Why Pluto Matters

2. Rethinking the Problem of Scientific Illiteracy

Part I: The Rise and Cultural Decline of American Science

3. From Sputnik to Sagan

4. Third Culture or Nerd Culture?

Part II: Different Rifts, Still Divided

5. Science Escape 2008

6. Unpopular Science

7. Hollywood and the Mad Scientists

8. Bruising Their Religion

Part III: The Future in Our Bones

9. The Bloggers Cannot Save Us

10. Is Our Scientists Learning?

Conclusion: A New Mission for American Science

Tomorrow we’ll begin posting a bit of content from the first chapter, “Why Pluto Matters.” Once again, you can preorder here.

I Get Email: 'Are Men Smarter Than Women?'

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | May 26, 2009 9:57 am

nefertari-and-isis.jpgDearest Isis,

Off the blogosphere we often discuss how much we enjoy emails from our readers– especially the letters written by young women pursuing science. They share stories, suggestions, and once in a while, questions appear on our blogs as we invite insight from across the internet.  That said, over the weekend, this troubling inquiry hit my inbox:

Hi Sheril,

I read with interest your article on ‘women and science’ in the Discover website. Can I ask, from your perspective, what you think of this study suggesting that men are smarter than women?  Because there are a lot of men who agreed with the study, and even some women. The truth is, while I don’t want to agree with it, I can’t help but think that men are smarter than women. Or at least, made much advances in the field of science than women. Yes, women have been kept at a disadvantage for so long, but I wonder if men also push themselves more? Maybe they want it more? I really hate feeling this way, but deep down, I kind of believe that it may be true. Have you ever heard of Camile Paguila, btw? She’s a ‘feminist’ but believes that, since most of the inventions we have in the modern world are created by men, if it were left up to women, we’d be living in grass huts.

I know that the study is old, but if you could offer your perspective, that would be great.

Thank you

Sigh… You can imagine my reaction.  And sure, I can wax poetic on the myriad of ways that social norms, cultural mores, expectations, and more have contributed to a history dominated by XY scientists–and point out exceptions. I might discuss in detail so many of the accomplishments of women from ancient history to the present–you know I’d have a field day with the ‘grass huts’ part–and go on seriously about the STEM skills of modern girls.  Perhaps even allude to present graduation rates and the fundamental changes necessary if we ever aim to achieve equal numbers in academia.  There’s so much to say…

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Hurricane Season Draws Near

By Chris Mooney | May 26, 2009 8:31 am



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