Tag Archives: science & politics

Expectations vs. Reality: More Key Questions on Molecularization of Identity

[Above: Rendering of DNA–aka “what most people think about when they hear ‘molecular identity’”–via ynse on Flickr & Creative Commons.  Below: What scientists actually look at when they’re trying to sort out molecular identities. By Micah Baldwin via Flickr & Creative Commons] Two posts and two weeks later, I’ve only covered a fraction of the …

Hybrid Problems: Chimerism, Synthetic Life, and Mixed Heritage

[A hybrid orchid. Photo by Mark Freeth.]  [“Molecularization of Identity” Workshop Recap, Part 2] Genomes of indigenous people, which often include genes found nowhere else in the world, can be powerful symbols for nations that want to showcase their uniqueness.  But when the Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica  (INMEGEN)  set out to find examples …

“Perceive. Identify. Regulate.” How to be Racist with 21st Century Science

[Image via Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary & Creative Commons] [“Molecularization of Identity” Workshop Recap, Part 1] The diagram of racism was shockingly simple: four highlighted brain regions with black arrows between them, forming an almost-isosceles triangle. [Diagram by Elizabeth Phelps’ group at NYU via The Brain Bank blog] Perception. Identification. Regulation.  Those are the …

We Need Investigative Science Journalism But Learning to Investigate Science is Hard–Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about why many pieces about the need for investigative science journalism don’t acknowledge the factors behind its scarcity.  Conversations about investigations in science journalism often seem to assume that reporters don’t see critiquing science as important, but journalists’ individual interests don’t set the tone for journalistic coverage  all by themselves. In journalism, …

We Need Investigative Science Journalism But Learning to Investigate Science is Hard-Part 1

[^^”How do you know?”: The question that science journalists must not forget to ask.] One night about a month ago, I was at a friend’s birthday party, knocking back tequila and rum with assorted MIT-affiliated twentysomethings. Somehow I ended up talking about tardigrades with a post-doc from an  uber-spiffy genetics institute. [This is what a …

7 Reasons Why an Autism Advocacy Organization Would Oppose the Combating Autism Act

BREAKING NEWS: The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) just issued an official statement in opposition to the renewal of the Combating Autism Act. If any of you are wondering, “Why would an autistic advocacy organization oppose a bill that allocates funds toward autism research?” here’s a quick breakdown of the most frequently-cited reasons (in no particular …

Do stem cell researchers ignore social inequalities? – Recap of talk by Dr. Ruha Benjamin

The Talk: People’s Science: Bodies & Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier In Plain English: Sociologist investigates the tensions between the stem cell research community and racial minorities and/or low-income communities The Speaker: Ruha Benjamin of Boston University The Sponsor: BU Discoveries Lecture Series What it covered: Dr. Ruha Benjamin, a sociologist who studies scientists …