Science

Willful Ignorance

As with climate science, Trump is in denial about public health issues.

Anti-vaxxers are a lot like the climate denial crowd, but with two differences. First, there hasn’t been any corporate money fomenting skepticism about vaccines, unlike climate denial. Second, anti-vaxxers are sprinkled across the ideological spectrum. Still, the similarities between these two forms of anti-scientism are greater. One big similarity: both anti-science views have the support …

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Can We Trust the Science? The Challenge of Irreproducible Results

In the peer review process, articles submitted to scientific journals are sent to experts in the field who then assess the methodology, results and conclusions. Based on their feedback, authors often revise and re-submit, publishing an improved article as a result. Peer reviewers rarely attempt the actual experiments described in the paper.  Irreproducible results are …

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Should Environmental News Coverage Be In The Science Section?

A whiles back I wrote about how the New York Times’ environmental coverage had been in decline. The public editor at the Times has a new article stating that environmental coverage has recently increased substantially. I think that is a great thing. But I want to focus on another element of the public editor’s article. …

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How eucalyptus trees are connected to denying climate change

Here on Legal Planet, we talk a lot about climate skeptics/deniers, and we’re highly critical of them (for good reason!).  A lot of those climate skeptics/deniers are conservatives. But there’s no monopoly on scientific ignorance on one end of the political spectrum.  An example of that is close to home here at UC Berkeley. In …

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Should we revive an extinct Galapagos tortoise?

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. The Washington Post reports today that scientists think they can resurrect the Pinta Island subspecies of Galapagos tortoise whose last remaining member, “Lonesome George” (pictured), died this summer. Scientists at Ecuador’s Galapagos National Park say they have found enough Pinta Island genetic material in tortoise on another nearby island that an intensive …

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Eyes Closed, Minds Shut Tight

According to a recent article in the American Sociological Review, rejection of science is on the rise: Just over 34 percent of conservatives had confidence in science as an institution in 2010, representing a long-term decline from 48 percent in 1974, according to a paper being published today in American Sociological Review. That represents a …

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Don’t Know Much Biology

Actually, I’m fond of the song, but the headline isn’t really accurate as a description of the public’s views of evolution. The (relatively) good news, according to Gallup, is that “only” 40% of the public think that humans were created in their present form in the last ten thousand years.  Obviously, they “don’t know much …

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It Depends on What the Meanings of “Are” Are

Bill Clinton once famously said that the truthfulness of a statement depended on “what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” There’s a similar usage issue in a recent spat over climate data. A  dispute between Roger Pielke and RealClimate seems to turn in part on whether a statement about current climate trends has to be proven …

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Drowning the East Coast

According to WaPo, Sea levels could rise faster along the U.S. East Coast than in any other densely populated part of the world, new research shows, as changes in ice caps and ocean currents push water toward a shoreline inlaid with cities, resort boardwalks and gem-rare habitats. Three studies this year, including one out last …

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Climate change is outpacing most dire models

The Washington Post reports today on Chris Field’s presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in which he said: “We are basically looking now at a future climate that’s beyond anything we’ve considered seriously in climate model simulations.”  Faster development of coal-fired electrical power in developing countries is …

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