Tuesday, September 15, 2009

HoS Mircopost: Forecasting Innovation, or Predicting Nobel Laureates

The Wall Street Journal has entered the prediction game and offers up a laundry list of possible Nobel Laureates.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/15 at 11:14 AM

Age of Wonder Wins Royal Society Prize

Richard Holmes’s The Age of Wonder wins Royal Society Book Prize, underscoring again the broad interest in history of science.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/15 at 09:25 AM

Monday, September 14, 2009

HoS Mircopost: Neil deGrasse Tyson on UFOs and Eye-Witness Testimony

Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to the UFO question. His response is amusing, though he oversimplifies the history of science that he invokes to reject eye-witness testimony.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/14 at 10:41 AM

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recent Non-Fiction in the History of Science

For more than a two decades now The Royal Society has awarded a prize to the best “accessible popular science books.” This years’s winner will be announced Tuesday, 15 September. Here is the short list of finalists.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/13 at 10:43 PM

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jane Maienschein Discusses her Research and the Value of History of Science

In a recent podcast Jane Maienschein discusses her research on the “Embryo Project” and its relevance to a broader society. She also reflects more generally on the relevance of history of science to practicing scientists and contemporary society.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/12 at 02:13 PM

Friday, September 11, 2009

HoS Mircopost: 30,000-year-old Dyed Fibers

HoS Microposts will be brief pointers to history of science related articles or other blog posts that I find interesting but don’t have the time to explore in any real detail. This first HoS Micropost looks at the recent discovery of 30,000-year-old flax fibers in a cave in the Republic of Georgia.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/11 at 10:55 AM

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Top Ten Examples of Scientific Reasoning

Prompted by an informal poll over at “Adventures in Ethics and Science” about the greatest moments in scientific reasoning, I wonder who PACHSmörgåsbord readers might place in the pantheon of scientific reasoning.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/09 at 10:01 PM

Lowell’s Canals on Mars

Looking through books in my basement I stumbled across two volumes of Percival Lowell’s observations on Mars. These observations, published as Annals of the Lowell Observatory, provided the scientific data for Lowell’s three books on the Martian canals.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/09 at 02:54 PM

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Scientific Expertise and Its Role in Policy Decisions

The Bipartisan Policy Center recently issued a report calling for a greater separation of policy questions from scientific questions. This report echoes some of the directives President Obama stated in his memorandum on scientific integrity. I am skeptical that we can, in fact, separate science and policy in the way that these two documents suggest.

Posted by Darin Hayton on 09/08 at 10:14 PM

A Train Buff at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

I’m a train buff. I usually express this in terms of an interest in the social and technical history of railroads, and although that’s valid, if fact I love steam locomotives. I’ve even acquired some fondness for the early generation diesels. Aside from riding Amtrak and other trains whenever feasible (and sometimes when hardly that), and some reading, my main buffing occurs at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, where as a member of its “Friends” I serve as a volunteer docent (though we don’t much use that word). This Museum, the largest in the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) system, sits amidst cornfields just east of Strasburg in the Lancaster County Amish region. It was placed there to adjoin the Strasburg Railroad, an early and premier steam tourist short-line; and of course for better or worse the Amish area has long been a destination for visitors.

Posted by Steven J. Peitzman on 09/08 at 02:13 PM

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