A Note on Monday and Tuesday at the Intersection

By Chris Mooney | August 9, 2009 10:25 pm

For the next two days, we are teaching the Communication I section of a class called “Climate Change and Marine Ecosystems: Introduction to Marine Biodiversity and Conservation” at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, coordinated by Professor Jeremy Jackson.

We’ll be blogging here about much of the content that we’re presenting–a lot of it based on Unscientific America, but much of it more hands-on than the book is. What’s more, students from the class will be posting comments in reaction to the class lectures–this is an assignment they have been given.

The blog will be entirely given over to this class related content; and we will be extremely strict when it comes to non-student comments. We are not going to close off comments, but any that do not show the highest level of decorum–befitting of a classroom–will not be tolerated. Thanks!


Comments (7)

  1. foolfodder

    We are not going to close off comments, but any that do not show the highest level of decorum–befitting of a classroom–will not be tolerated.

    a) Maybe people who don’t think that their comments will meet the standard, but want to make the comment anyway could post in this thread, or a separate one?
    b) Blimey, what kind of school did you go to? :)

  2. Chris Mooney
  3. John Kwok


    BTW Carl Zimmer is teaching an intensive class on science writing now at Shoals Marine Laboratory (several miles east of Portsmouth, NH on the Isles of Shoals’s Appledore Island, where the laboratory is located). Am sure that it’s a mere coincidence. Anyway, wish you and Sheril much success in teaching your component of Jackson’s course.

  4. I’m a bit confused here. There are services like Moodle and WebCT that are specifically created for this kind of enclosed community discussion. Does your host university not have access to such resources?

  5. John Kwok

    @ Benjamin –

    I believe Chris and Sheril are using their blog as an online “adjunct” to the course they are teaching. It’s well within their rights IMHO, and especially to ward off much of the ridiculous nonsense posted by many – and I concede that I may have come across as ridiculous on several occasions – with regards to “Unscientific America”. So for the next two days we should respect their wishes.

  6. Rights? Of course.

    It just seems peculiar to me. Shrug.

  7. John Kwok

    @ Benjamin –

    I guess they just wanted to have their latest blog entries accessible primarily to their students. Might seem strange from a “First Amendment” perspective, but again, since this is their blog – and it sounds like they’re getting ample assistance too from a scientist as eminent as Jeremy Jackson – then I believe that theirs is a reasonable request under the circumstances. Anyway, I’m getting a bit tired of the constant back and forth with regards to UA, etc. so for that reason alone, I’d welcome calling a “truce” for a few days at least.


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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.


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