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Old 10-02-2011, 02:06 AM
T.G.G.P T.G.G.P is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 278
Default Re: Science Saturday: Invasion of the Synthetic Bacteria (Christina Agapakis & Maggie Koerth-Baker)

Great to seem them again. Also good to hear about some research one of them was doing in a lab now. They later bring up the need to communicate about science in practice, and that was an example. If they want to stay away from controversies in the public, stuff like the arsenic-based life issue might be something that avoids political issues.

In my opinion Satoshi Kanazawa* publishes a lot of crap and its to his university's discredit that they only reprimanded him for that (he is prohibited from publishing non-peer reviewed work for a year) rather than never responding to his academic critics for his lousy but attention-getting work. Clearly his employers only care when people get offended and make a stink. It was of course stupid for him to refer to GSS interviewer evaluations as "objective" and self-reported evaluations as "subjective", when all such opinions are subjective and the issue is merely one of first-party vs third-party reports. There can be sampling issue of who is doing the GSS interviews, but I think it's perfectly legitimate for scientists to study what people happen to find attractive. They should just have someone more reliable that Satoshi Kanazawa do the research and convey findings to the public.
*I do however like his "Asians can't think", retitled after I first read it to "No, it ain't gonna be like that". An example: Really, what can Christian fundamentalists do to us? Refuse to pump our gas? Spit in our Big Mac?
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