What can I say: I’m a liberal. I have an unfortunate and ill-advised tendency to data dump.
So…for the past year, I’ve been working on a book that I’ve remained mum about, though you have definitely seen me blogging and doing articles on related themes (and publishing guest posts on them)–because one can hardly help oneself. And those of you that enjoyed my first book, The Republican War on Science, will be pretty interested, I think, in the new one. Especially as the campaign heats up.
Now, the deadline is approaching, even as my travel threatens to pick up again–and I find that I could use some research assistance.
In particular, I’m looking for someone willing to help me collect a set of easily available data together into a “study” format where these data can be analyzed—nothing very painful or intensive, but still a little laborious. (But oh, what we shall find! Uh, I think.)
Preferably, this will be someone with statistics training or a social science background. But it doesn’t have to be. Just someone organized would do.
Second, and also kind of important: The blog known as “The Intersection” has been through many changes and iterations over its nearly 10 year existence. And now it is time for another.
We’ve been showing sustained traffic highs here over the past several months, with the help of some great guest bloggers (Jon, Jamie, and occasional others). But Discover & I are nonetheless parting ways.
“The Intersection” is instead relocating to become the central blog of Science Progress, the science policy website of the Center for American Progress.
My intention is certainly to continue to have lots of guest bloggers over there, in addition to myself. So contact me if you want to get involved (links above).
The move will take effect, if all goes swimmingly, on September 12/13. Old posts will remain here, and a permanent redirect update post will be put up. There is no URL yet for the new blog, so stand by on that.
Okay, that’s a lot….but I hope you will all continue to tune in for the new book and new blog!
The latest show is up, and I am confident it will be much discussed. Here is the write up:
Our guest this week is Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine and head of the Skeptics Society, and a longtime commentator on issues relating to science, critical thinking, and the paranormal.
Chris asked Michael on to discuss his new book, which is entitled The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies, How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them As Truths.
Clearly, much of what Shermer has to say here will be of great relevance to skeptics and freethinkers—and along the way, Shermer also discusses his views on global warming (real, but not such a big deal) and how to promote evolution in a religious America.
In addition to publishing Skeptic, Michael Shermer is a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor at Claremont Graduate University. His other books include Why People Believe in Weird Things andWhy Darwin Matters.
In a series of posts this week, I’m going to say more about at least 3 parts of the interview that I think will prompt discussion–our exchanges on global warming, “accommodationism,” and the differences between liberals and conservatives.
I’m pleased to announce my next Point of Inquiry guest for the show airing Monday: Jonathan Kay, a journalist with Canada’s National Post and author of the new book Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground.
I’ve been beating up on Birthers a lot lately (everyone has), so this is a bit of “balancing.” Of course, Kay knows a lot about Birthers too.
We did the interview last night and I think people are going to like this one. Airs Monday. If you’re interested, check out the book in the meantime.
I also appeared recently with Kay on MSNBC.
I just did a fun interview with Lawrence Krauss for Point of Inquiry–airing Monday–and to prepare, I got to read his new scientific biography of Richard Feynman, Quantum Man.
Being a non-physics wonk, I can’t say that I fully understood *everything* that Feynman accomplished, but that didn’t make the book any less illuminating in its depiction of this fascinating, and brilliant, scientific character.
It’s not that no one has written on Feynman before–it’s just that having a top physicist do a scientific biography of Feynman’s accomplishments is something pretty unique.
In advance of the show, then, I want to recommend the book–it just went on sale this week. Check it out here.
Greetings from Beantown–with lots coming up today:
- Today is the Future We Create Virtual Conference about the Future of Women in Chemistry and Science at 11 am ET. I’m honored to be one of 60 speakers speaking together for 60 minutes to discuss, debate and define how women can move the field and industry of chemistry—as well as other sciences—forward. Covering topics from work-life balance and gender differences to mentoring young women and fostering executive leadership, Women in Chemistry will inspire, educate and challenge people to think in new and innovative ways about women’s role in advancing chemistry, the sciences and human potential. Details to watch here.
- At noon, I’ll be at Boston’s NPR studio to appear on The Emily Rooney Show on WGBH-FM talking about “The Science of Kissing.’’ Locals can tune in on 89.7 FM.
- At 6:30 pm, I’m speaking at Tufts University in Barnum Hall, room 008 and will be signing books after. As a Tufts alumna, this will be my first time back to campus since graduation in 2002 and I’m really looking forward to it! Tonight’s event is free and open to the public so if you’re in town, come on by.
During the whirlwind past few weeks, blogging has been difficult, but I expect to return to a normal schedule soon. In the mean time, you can read some of the latest press on The Science of Kissing at:
My first talk for the book was filmed and is now available online as well. It was for UT’s Science Study Break where speakers use film clips to discuss science topics. Despite a few technical difficulties getting started, this event was a great deal of fun.
My wonderful publisher, Grand Central, is throwing a Valentines Day Twitter Party for the book! There will be tons of fun tweets all day with trivia, fun facts, giveaways, and more. To join us, attach the hashtag #SciKiss to any related posts and you can find me @Sheril_
At 3:30, I’ll be on BlogTalkRadio for a “Valentine’s Day Roundtable with the authors of THE SCIENCE OF KISSING & SEALING THE DEAL”:
Join us for a special Valentine’s Day interview with Sheril Kirshenbaum (THE SCIENCE OF KISSING) and Diana Kirschner (SEALING THE DEAL). Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist at The Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin . She blogs on Discover magazine’s website, The Intersection, and contributes to a variety of blogs and science publications. Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has more than 25 years of professional and practical experience doing therapy and workshops for singles and writing relationship articles for women. Dr. Diana appears regularly on the Today show, has been a guest on Oprah and many other national television and radio programs. Her popular Love in 90 Days workshops have been featured in major media around the world. She has been happily married for over 25 years. Don’t miss our discussion as we celebrate the day of love!
And today I have a date with Hofstra University where I’ll be speaking about The Science of Kissing. As a native New Yorker, I can’t think of a better place to spend Valentine’s Day!
I was delighted to see that one of my favorite science bloggers–Scicurious of Neurotic Physiology at Scientopia–has posted a very thoughtful review of The Science of Kissing. The book is divided into three parts and Sci took the time to discuss each one, beginning with a bit of skepticism:
Sci was very excited to get a copy of Sheril’s first solo book effort, “The Science of Kissing: What our lips are telling us”. I’ve always enjoyed Sheril’s writing and her fun take on life in general, and so I was excited to get the book. But I admit I was also a little worried. After all, it’s the science of KISSING. What if it was…well, like a Cosmo article or something? Of course I know Sheril better than that, but there was a deep dark worry in the back of my mind.
(Is this a kissing book?)
Read Sci’s full review here.
The lights are turned down low and the romantic music is playing in the background. You close your eyes, pucker up and get ready.
And that’s exactly when Sheril Kirshenbaum wants to shove you into an MRI machine or a PET scanner.
It was a fun discussion and you can listen to our conversation here.