Stack Exchange Biology “Why is selfishness the ‘obvious’ strategy?” I tend to favor these sorts of “open to everyone” forums, but it is interesting to see what a general audience makes out of questions like this one… if anyone expects to get a simple, easy answer to such broad-ranging questions, those people will be disappointed.
Princeton University Center for Human Values “Workshop: Positive Models and Normative Ideals of Social Cooperation“
Evolutionary Politics “Pinker, Politics, and the Decline of Violence: Roundtable on ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature’“ What I find particularly interesting about this topic is the question of whether or not our cultural evolution away from conflict and towards cooperation has in turn affected our biological evolution. Sure, both cooperating and defecting (in this Read More
All Things Considered “Explosion In Free Online Classes May Change Course Of Higher Education” What I think is very interesting about these stories, which are more and more prevalent, is their emphasis on the economic rationales for “getting into the online education business”. But what it seems to me that these elite universities are really Read More
All Things Considered “First Of Controversial Bird Flu Studies Is Published” It’s not just the atomic bomb anymore: molecular biology is the new science with apocalyptic potential.
The New York Times “A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts Calls for Reform“
Marketplace “Top universities join forces online“
Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment “Science and energy policy: leave the cherries alone” These are sane words. The power of anecdote has become increasingly problematic in the debate over whether hydraulic fracturing should be pursued, but at the same time scientists need not park their values at the door when they express policy preferences Read More
Wikipedia “Robert R. Sokal” Stony Brook University Department of Ecology & Evolution Emeritus Page Bob Sokal was already a Professor Emeritus by the time I arrived at Stony Brook, but through his book Biometry (and his long-time collaboration with Jim Rohlf), Sokal’s legacy was always apparent. I was lucky to be a Stony Brook student Read More
The Chronicle of Higher Education “Angry Words” What I find interesting about this debate beyond its specific application to linguistics is the question it raises about aboriginal cultures. I have always wondered about the validity of studying hunter-gatherer societies under the assumption that they represent a window into the ways of our ancient ancestors. Such Read More