Archive for December 22nd, 2010

A Critical Science Moment for the Obama Administration

By Chris Mooney | December 22, 2010 2:42 pm

I kind of went all out in my latest DeSmogBlog post. It’s a pretty lengthy overview of where the scientific integrity issue now stands, just after John Holdren finally issued his office’s scientific integrity memorandum to the government agencies. Four key summary points that are each elaborated on in the piece:

1. The last administration misused and abused science to a degree unprecedented in modern American politics.

2. President Obama came into office promising to change all of this—to “restore science to its rightful place” in our government and political life. But it hasn’t proven that simple, and not all the problems are “fixed” simply by virtue of this changing of the guard.

3. That said, attacks on the current administration for conducting a “war on science” of its own are overblown. We’re still moving in the right direction.

Bottom Line: The Obama Administration needs to make more progress on scientific integrity. The next two years will be crucial.

You can read the full piece here.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Politics and Science

When did Humans start Kissing?

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | December 22, 2010 10:47 am

gal-486682Yesterday I posted The Table of Contents for The Science of Kissing and today I’ll answer another question from readers… therewillbewords asked: When did humans start kissing as a show of affection?

The earliest literary evidence we have for kissing dates back to India’s Vedic Sanskrit texts composed around 3,500 years ago. However, given there are so many kissing-like behaviors across the animal kingdom (particularly among our closest primate relatives) it’s likely that our own species has been locking lips–on and off–for a much longer period of time.

This amazing image (also in the book) is by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. Tumblr questions are piling in and readers are welcome to submit your own in comments below…

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture
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