Category: Updates

New Blog URL For The Intersection

By Chris Mooney | September 27, 2011 7:53 am

Hey folks–sorry, but please change your bookmarks again. “The Intersection” is now at this link.

Please note that we are working on the comments function so that you do not have to use Facebook to log in. See you over there!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Announcements, Updates

Parting Ways at The Intersection

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | April 28, 2011 9:12 am

I’ve been blogging since 2006: First at The Nexus followed by four years at The Intersection with Chris. My writing has evolved tremendously since then, and in many ways, so have I.  Now I’m about to begin a new chapter..

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be writing the monthly science column for Bloomberg View. This is the upcoming opinion page from Bloomberg News, led by David Shipley and James Rubin.

I’m equally delighted to announce I’ve joined Wired Science Blogs. My blog will launch in a couple of weeks, so for now I’ll say I’m very excited about the theme. (In the mean time, watch for clues coming via Twitter). Of course, since blogs exist in virtual space, I’m not really going anywhere and will just be a different hyperlink away.

It’s been incredible to share the terrific Discover network with so many esteemed colleagues and friends since 2009! Special thanks to Amos, Eliza, Ed, Phil, Razib, Carl, Henry, Corey, and of course, Chris for all of your support.  I also appreciate the warm welcome at both Wired Science and Bloomberg where I’m honored to be joining two new families of talented writers.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Announcements, Culture, Personal, Updates

10 Ways to Help with Science Online 2011

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | October 4, 2010 10:52 pm

The incredible tour de force behind the Science Online conferences (Bora and Anton!) who make the magic happen annually are already hard at work planning next year’s event. They are now appealing to the science blogging community for assistance to make 2011 the best meeting yet! Anton has posted 10 ways to help:

  1. Fix the logo. The ScienceOnline2010 logo looked great, but had a serious flaw — the fancy atom couldn’t print on a non-white background. We need someone with Photoshop or Illustrator expertise to rebuild the logo and customize it for  ScienceOnline2011 (notice we’ve reduced the size and placement of the atom).
  2. Design the T-shirt — be creative — and arrange for printing and delivery (and maybe help find a sponsor to underwrite the costs).
  3. Be the webmaster for this site, and help us make it more compelling.
  4. Be the webmaster for the planning wiki, and help us get the look and feel there to match this site. Also on the wiki, add your program ideas and tell us if you’d like to be a session discussion leader.
  5. Find a sponsor. Download the ScienceOnline2011 info sheet and share with companies, organizations, institutions and individuals who might be willing to become a sponsor of the conference — have them contact me ( While you’re at it, visit the ScienceOnline2010 sponsors (logos linked here) and share your appreciation for their past support.
  6. Find a donor willing to help us order lots of Flip video cameras. At ScienceOnline2010, we were able to give out a couple dozen cameras in exchange for short videos of conference participants (see this post, for example, and more examples here).
  7. Find a North Carolina organization willing to be our institutional partner (meaning our checkbook — accept sponsorship checks, write a few dozen checks to pay our bills, earn our admiration and gratitude).
  8. Offer another way to help. Use the Contact form to let us know about your talents, interests and experiences, and how we can put those to use in planning the conference.
  9. Help someone in your community learn to blog, tweet or make use of social networking tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr). Why? ScienceOnline2011 is a BlogTogether event, and we want the spirit of conversation to spread (read this essay for background).
  10. Sign up for updates so you can be the first to know when registration opens. Tweet, blog and tell your friends, too.
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Announcements, Updates

UT Campus Shooting

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 28, 2010 10:57 am

We’re all listening to reports of the shooting on campus this morning. The details are unclear, but one gunman is dead and it appears no one else was injured. A possible second suspect is sought. The University is closed and you can follow emergency updates here. Since this is where I work, I’m getting several emails, so in response am posting the latest from The Statesman:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 08:32 AM
A gunman who fired several shots in the Perry-Castaneda Library on the UT campus is dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and police are looking for a possible second suspect, officials say.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that the shooter is dead, but UT continues to be locked down, and people are urged to stay out of the area.

Officials say it appears there are no other injuries. UT spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon said witnesses had reported that the man was armed with automatic weapon.

“The shooter is dead on the sixth floor of Perry-Castaneda Library, said Don Hale, a UT spokesman. “No identification. Apparently took his own life.”

“We don’t have any report of anybody getting shot at this point,” Hale said.

“It’s not clear yet” if there is a second suspect, Hale said shortly after 9 a.m., adding that the university’s advice to stay indoors and keep doors locked remains in force. Read More

MORE ABOUT: Austin, campus shooting, UT

Next Stop DC

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 22, 2010 10:23 am

Picture 3So much to blog about and so little time. I have a great deal to say about the past few days at the Clinton Global Initiative, but must now take off for DC. I’m extremely excited about Thursday’s L’Oreal/Discover panel, yet leaving NYC is bittersweet… I have immensely enjoyed the time I’ve spent here and would love to stay through the final sessions.

CGI has been an extraordinarily inspiring experience. This meeting demonstrates that we are moving toward becoming a global community by fostering unique partnerships that continue to improve millions of peoples’ lives around the world. In troubled times, CGI gives me reason for hope. I’ll share more on that soon.

loreal_unesco_01Now on to Capitol City to prepare for the next event: Issues Affecting Women in Science: For Women in Science—21st Century Policy and Politics. I look forward to seeing some of you there!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Education, Travel, Updates

The Coming Week

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 17, 2010 9:47 am shaping up to be quite busy, fascinating, and a lot of fun.

On Monday I’ll fly to New York to attend the Clinton Global Initiative. Last night Bill Clinton visited The Daily Show to talk about politics, American skepticism, and suggest the least expensive and fastest way to improve the economy and decrease unemployment:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Bill Clinton Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Next I’m headed to DC to moderate Thursday’s L’Oreal/Discover Capitol Hill panel on women in science. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Congressional briefing explores the issues and opportunities

“The contributions of female scientists are critical to U.S. advancements in science and economic growth,” said Frédéric Rozé, President and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal USA. “By convening this congressional briefing, L’Oréal USA hopes to renew national dialogue about breaking barriers and forging new paths for women in science.”

Panelists include:

  • Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
  • Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head of Education and Human Resources, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Pr. Joan Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University
  • Pr. Sara Seager, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Sheril Kirshenbaum, Author of Unscientific America and Science Blogger for (Moderator)

With travel, posting may be light at times, but I’ll be sharing details from both events here at The Intersection and via twitter (hashtag #CGI2010).

The Clinton Global Initiative

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | September 15, 2010 10:45 am

Next week, I’ll be attending The Clinton Global Initiative in New York City where heads of state, corporate leaders, philanthropist and social entrepreneurs will convene to discuss innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

The four action areas this year are:

  • Empowering Girls and Women
  • Strengthening Market-Based Solutions
  • Enhancing Access to Modern Technology
  • Harnessing Human Potential

I will be blogging and tweeting (#cgi2010) from the conference. You can also follow CGI at:

1. CGI YouTube page:

2. YouTube Interview with President Clinton: YouTube’s CitizenTube project:

3. CGI Webcast: Webcast channels and schedule at Includes all “stage” sessions during the Annual Meeting.

4. Twitter: The official hash-tag for this year’s meeting is #cgi2010

Picture 6

Notes from the Field: Update

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | July 29, 2010 10:47 pm

happyphotoThanks to readers for all of your great suggestions in comments and over email about burr removal.

Pup and I have persevered.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Personal, Updates
MORE ABOUT: The Situation

Science and Religion on the Cam, Part I

By Chris Mooney | June 7, 2010 10:47 am

800px-KingsCollegeChapelWestIt has been a time of much moving, lately. The MIT Knight Fellowship is over, and I’m currently in the other Cambridge (the one in England) for the briefer Templeton Fellowship.

Not surprisingly, the controversy over this fellowship has sparked plenty of conversation over here among my fellow journalists/fellows. Now, with the first week of the fellowship over, I am prepared to say more about that.

So far–and this is, to me, the most important point–I can honestly say that I have found the lectures and presentations that we’ve heard here to be serious and stimulating. The same goes for the discussions that have followed them.

To be sure, we hear a fair amount about theological thought here–and I have my difficulties with theology as a field, simply because of my personal identity if nothing else. Read More

New Review of Unscientific America in Science Communication

By Chris Mooney | March 25, 2010 12:52 pm

Our book reviews aren’t over yet–perhaps they will keep coming out all the way to the paperback release date in May. The latest is from David J. Tenenbaum of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, founding feature writer for the WhyFiles, who is reviewing in the journal Science Communication. Tenenbaum begins with a revealing vignette:

I e-mailed an eminent limnologist today, seeking to discuss an environmental issue that he’s considered important enough to study for several years. To my delight, he immediately responded with word that a new study was forthcoming in an important journal. Then, to my dismay, he added that the journal’s embargo would expire a couple of weeks after my publication date.

No problem, I replied. He’d watched the issue develop for years and would surely have a useful comment. Then I got the silent treatment.

Huh? When you contact scientists for a living (I admit, science journalism can seem a branch of telemarketing), you get used to nonresponses, to experts who think a “tight deadline” means 3 months, or are in Mongolia or at an invitation-only conference in Estonia. This latest wrinkle on the rejection letter told me that this expert would be happy to get help publicizing his newest research triumph but was unwilling to help me explain the environmental ramifications of oil sands mining in Alberta, which just happens to be the largest energy project in the Western Hemisphere.

For indeed, and as we argue in the book, some scientists–not all–aren’t particularly helpful when it comes to interacting with the media. Yet they simply must do more, writes Tenenbaum–and indeed, it is in their own interest to do so. Read More


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