Category: Updates

Catch Me On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tomorrow AM

By Chris Mooney | February 14, 2010 8:36 pm

morning_joe_starbucksIt was just announced on their Twitter feed, so that’s pretty official.

The subject is vaccination, and I’ll be appearing with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor.

My segment is around 8:40 am ET.

For those who want to check out my last Morning Joe appearance, meanwhile, you can watch it here.

No Plan

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | January 27, 2010 11:40 am

The latest edition of Ocean and Coastal Management has an article on the world’s most charismatic invertebrate and I am sad to report–as expected–the news is not good:

Socio-Economic Features Of Sea Cucumber Fisheries
In Southern Coast Of Kenya

Jacob Ochiewoa, Maricela de la Torre-Castrob, Charles Muthamaa, Fridah Munyia and J.M. Nthutaa

A socio-economic assessment was conducted at Vanga, Shimoni, Majoreni and Gazi villages in the Kenyan south coast with focus on the sea cucumber fishing patterns, the social and economic characteristics of the fisher communities, the contribution of sea cucumbers to the local livelihoods, and analysis of the management systems. The results indicate that sea cucumber fishers are mainly men. Fishing is done in sub-tidal areas (3-10 metres deep) and inter-tidal areas depending on the species being targeted. Those who fish in the sub-tidal areas do skin-diving without using SCUBA diving gear. Sea cucumber fishing is heavily done during the north east monsoon season when the sea is calm and water is clear. About 32% of the sea cucumber fishers also collect other marine products such as octopus. The sea cucumbers are sold fresh from the sea to local first level middlemen who process and sell them to the second level middlemen and exporters in Mombasa. The fishers occasionally borrow money from first level middlemen especially when they fail to catch sea cucumbers but this in turn creates conditions of dependence and possible exploitation. Almost all sea cucumber fishers have stated that they are not willing to make sea cucumbers part of their daily diet. The economic value of the product was substantial; the average monthly revenue for dry sea cucumbers in the area was estimated to US$ 8,000. The relative highest profits are derived from juvenile species, thus there is an economic incentive hindering local stocks to reach sexual maturity, which in turn may create a situation in which recruitment success is highly dependent on faraway populations. The present management system falls into general fisheries regulations and was found weak. No specific management plan for sea cucumbers was found.

In other words, cukes are being collected before they reach sexual maturity and, at present, it appears that fishers have no incentives to harvest local populations sustainably.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, our oceans are going to hell in a handbasket. The signs of dramatic decline across scales are crystal clear, but we have a habit of ignoring what happens below the surface. So when there’s nothing but jellyfish and algae left, our children may wonder why we knew, yet did nothing. Oh, for the love of sea cucumbers… Surely we can do better!

MORE ABOUT: Kenya, sea cucumbers

Ways To Support The Relief Effort In Haiti (UPDATED)

By The Intersection | January 13, 2010 3:35 pm

The 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday is devastating. We will continue to update this post with ways to support relief efforts and encourage our readers to add additional legitimate initiatives in comments. We ask that those with blogs repost these links on their sites.

American Red Cross International Response Fund
AmeriCares Help For Haiti
Direct Relief International
Doctors without Borders
HaitiArise
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
Mercy Corps
Oxfam
UNICEF
Yele Haiti

@wyclef on twitter:

Haiti is in need of immediate AID please text Yele to 510 510 and donate $5 toward earthquake relief.’ ~Wyclef Jean,  founder of Yele Haiti

@nytimes/haiti-earthquake

Reports from individuals, news orgs, relief agencies in Haiti.’ ~NYTimes Haiti earthquake twitter list

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Updates
MORE ABOUT: earthquake, Haiti

The Year in Science, 2009

By Chris Mooney | December 23, 2009 11:31 am

It wasn’t for nothing that I asked these questions yesterday (and some of the responses were very helpful). Over at the Science Progress blog, I’ve now done a full piece about what happened in science in 2009, which includes observations like these:

It was a year of complete U-turns in science policy. President Barack Obama reversed George W. Bush’s dramatic restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, and the first 13 new stem cell lines were approved for federally funded research since 2001. Meanwhile, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency moved to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, finding that they do indeed endanger the public.

It was also the year of the first-ever passage, by a 219-212 margin in the U.S. House of Representatives, of a cap-and-trade bill that would cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions—but not the year for any parallel action in the U.S. Senate.

It was the year that everyone seemed to own an iPhone and use the word “app” in regular conversation. It was the year Twitter went from being a mere annoyance to the epitome of web-based communication.

It was a year that saw the very first Nobel laureate scientist assume a cabinet position, in the figure of U.S. Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu.

It was the year of….many, many, many other things, some funny, some outrageous, some profound. Read here for the whole list, and leave comments about anything you think may have been left out!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Miscellaneous, Updates

Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | October 1, 2009 11:54 am

IMG_1928I was delighted for the opportunity to deliver a talk about Unscientific America at my local bookstore in Durham, North Carolina. There’s something extra special when you recognize so many familiar faces in the audience. They didn’t even mind my cold and I was particularly touched when one sweet gentleman in the front row gave me his handkerchief before the Q&A. Gosh I love this town, its bookstore, newspapers (The Herald Sun and The Independent), and so much more.

Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in a terrific discussion about science, education, the Internet, politics, and literacy in America. I left re-energized to finish the final edits on my next book and even managed to turn in the manuscript on time today.

I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night…

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

Our Big Day in D.C.: Politics and Prose, and Inspiring Science's "New Voices"

By Chris Mooney | July 28, 2009 11:05 am

I am already in DC, and SK will be arriving in about an hour–for a day in which we will do our first joint talk about the book together. It has been a long time coming.

Tonight we will be at D.C.’s Politics and Prose for an event co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress (and Science Progress) and Research!America. These are the details:

Tuesday, July 28
7:00 PM
Politics and Prose Bookstore
5015 Connecticut Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-364-1919
Web site

Jonathan Moreno of the Center for American Progress, and Mary Woolley of Research!America, will jointly be introducing us. In fact, Research!America has also assigned the book to their “New Voices,” a group of young scientists who are precisely the sort of heroes and role models of science in society that we want to see more of out there. As one of them, Heather Benson, puts it of the book:

The authors make it clear that what the scientific community needs is a shift in how we associate and integrate with the public at large. They show that the fault line between science and society is caused by both sides, and that only through changes in both sides can a bridge across be built.

Amen to that!

We’re also meeting with the New Voices today in Alexandria, to talk more about how we can change the culture of science to make political and public engagement more common and focal–in short, to create more “science ambassadors” and “Renaissance scientists.” Research!America is one of the most important organizations out there working to turn today’s younger scientists into effective advocates for science in policy, and skilled outreach experts from the world of science to the rest of society–and we’re thrilled by their support.

Raleigh Tonight

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | July 23, 2009 12:56 pm

Tonight Unscientific America hits the Research Triangle:

Quail Ridge Books & Music
3522 Wade Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27607 (map)

Sheril Kirshenbaum (co-author with Chris Mooney) brings us UNSCIENTIFIC AMERICA: HOW SCIENTIFIC ILLITERACY THREATENS OUR FUTURE, with a discussion of the dangers of misunderstanding and mistrust, and proposals to reverse the trend.

I’m looking forward to meeting readers and offer some fine bluegrass from Old Crow Medicine Show to get you in a Raleigh state of mind:

The Latest Road Updates

By Chris Mooney | July 23, 2009 8:10 am

SK is being shy. She didn’t tell you just how much she rocked an NPR interview yesterday with WUNC in North Carolina. Go listen here.

Meanwhile, over the past few days at Yale and Northwestern, I’ve been fortunate to have another two great events courtesy of graduate student chapters of Scientists and Engineers for America–Yale’s and Northwestern’s (the latter is called the Science and Policy Action Network).Who knew that some 200 grad students (and others) on these two campuses would come out to hear about how they need to become our next generation of science emissaries to the public?

And yet the energy and enthusiasm is clearly there–these scientists want to become such emissaries. They don’t want to fight old culture wars, they want to change something. They want to give something back.

They’re science’s Obama generation, and I’m thrilled to get to meet them across the country.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Unscientific America, Updates

The State of Things

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | July 22, 2009 10:25 am

It’s a busy week at The Intersection.  This morning I’m headed to the WUNC studio to chat with Frank Stasio on The State of Things about Unscientific America. Meanwhile, Chris will be speaking at Northwestern University in Illinois tonight. Tomorrow I’m at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, North Carolina and Friday you can hear me on The Scott Dick Show.

Posting may be light, but we have lots coming…

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