Science

Where are all the LGBT scientists at?

Where are all the LGBT scientists at?

I’m in the ongoing process of being out in a couple of life aspects, being gay and atheistic, (gaytheistic?) which involves a bunch of references to my boyfriend in casual conversation and honest but non-confrontational answers to questions like “So where do you go to church”. I try to be the best “normalizing” presence that I can be so that the benefits of visibility... »

Retort and Riposte: More Grad School Stuff

Retort and Riposte: More Grad School Stuff

So for those of you who missed the earlier exchange Dan and I have been having a bit of a back-and-forth RE: the state of graduate education. I broke the topic with an article on the Duke Collective, a group of students who had resorted to wage sharing to help minimize the perilous funding situations they found themselves in. I argued that the move places a spotlight on the structural problems wit... »

Collectivism at Duke

Collectivism at Duke

The Student Union of Michigan recently published an interview with a group of Duke graduate students that contained the unthinkable in a capitalist system, collectivization of wages. The Duke Collective, as they are known, was dissatisfied with the way that the university handled stipends and so decided to take matters into their own hands.  ” And so it initially began as a kind of emergency... »

In Defense Of Magneto. My Final Word On The Hashtag.

In Defense Of Magneto. My Final Word On The Hashtag.

First of all I would like to point out that the point of the magneto metaphor is in fact “being nice doesn’t pay, don’t bother, smash oppressors” and has nothing to do with real life violence, I do not and will never advocate violent actions and anyone who reads that into this metaphor is a fool, it is a metaphor, a symbol and nothing more. You can always nitpick any metaph... »

a copper IUD

The IUD Option: Stigma, Falsehoods, and Shaming

This confession may come as a shock to some: I have never been in love with menstruation. The dread of a surprise attack, cramps, the discomfort of cotton wads crammed where no wads of cotton should be. While still respecting those who savor their bloody womanhood, I grew up wishing that I could do anything to turn off that monthly hell. When I first started college I jumped on birth control pills... »

AI: Awe, and Science

AI: Awe, and Science

One of the common misconceptions that religious and spiritual people sometimes have about atheists like me is the belief that we do not experience awe. I once had a dear friend ask me “How can you not believe in anything bigger than yourself?” I laughed when he said it, and said that the universe was big enough for me, thank you very much. I can understand why some religious people mig... »

The Dose Makes the Poison

The Dose Makes the Poison

Most of you reading this blog are probably against anti-science, anti-intellectual bullshit from the right wing/Republicans; they don’t) (generally) believe in evolution, or the big bang, or stem cell research. There is, however, a complementary strain of bullshit-enthusiasm coming from the left, and we need to be just as skeptical. From vaccine conspiracies to throat chakras causing thyroid... »

AI: Unwanted Education

AI: Unwanted Education

This semester, I’m taking what is probably the worst course I have to take in order to become a biologist: parasitology. First class consisted of an hour and a half of Ascaris lumbricoides, look it up (or, you know, don’t). First month will consist solely of helminthes, which are worm-like parasites. And the professor comes nowhere near the social issues that are involved or the awareness and educ... »

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