Archive for August 4th, 2009

How Many of Us Can Name a Living Scientist?

By Chris Mooney | August 4, 2009 10:59 pm

From the Research!America New Voices blog, I find this incredible new statistic: 65 % of Americans cannot name a living scientist, and another 18 % try but get it wrong. That’s 83 percent of us in total who don’t know a living scientist by name.

And for the few who answer correctly, the leading choice is (no huge surprise here) Stephen Hawking. The top living American scientist to be named (by only 1%) is E.O. Wilson.

More details can be found here. All in all, it’s just another dismaying factoid about the Unscientific America we live in….

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Unscientific America

Voyage To The Plastic Island Of Garbage

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | August 4, 2009 3:02 pm

_46155144_090728111255_babarco-1.jpgFrom Reuters:

LOS ANGELES, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Marine scientists from California are venturing this week to the middle of the North Pacific for a study of plastic debris accumulating across hundreds of miles (km) of open sea dubbed the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”

A research vessel carrying a team of about 30 researchers, technicians and crew members embarked on Sunday on a three-week voyage from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, based at the University of California at San Diego.

When Shifting Baselines announced the Rotten Jellyfish Awards for the top ten worst ocean decline stories of 2003, this artificial ‘plastic’ island came in at number 7. But in all seriousness, ocean currents have amassed so much garbage in the Pacific that there’s a collection of floating refuse estimated to be larger than Texas.

In other words, it’s past time for us to start to pay attention to this environmental disaster. You bet I’ll be following along

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Conservation, Marine Science

Two Audio Interviews On Unscientific America

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | August 4, 2009 10:48 am

The last several weeks have been a whirlwind of traveling and talking to audiences about the widening divide between science and society–and what we can do about it. This morning CM is on the west coast where I’ll be joining him in a few days. As a result of crazy schedules, we’re late posting several interviews, two of which are now available for listening online:

In DC we sat down Andrew Plemmons Pratt at the Center for American Progress to discuss Unscientific America, Carl Sagan, ScienceDebate, and more. His article including the audio interview is up at Sciene Progress.

Another conversation with the Examiner’s Mary Spiro covered the way science impacts our daily lives and possible solutions to bridge the culture gap. Listen here.

unsci_amer_591.jpg

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Unscientific America, Updates
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