I’ve worked for more than 20 years with researchers as a communications and marketing professional. I’ve heard every complaint both sides could make about the other — and probably so have you. For me, the usual stereotypes (marketers are fluffy idiots, scientists are literal idiots) stopped being amusing years ago.…Read More
I’m fascinated by the recent study in Science that argues the medieval Roman Catholic Church’s prohibitions against incest were crucial in laying the foundation for “individualism, nonconformity, and the inclination to trust and help strangers,” traits the authors associate with the evolution of “WEIRD” societies — western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic.…Read More
Analogies get a bad rap as metaphor’s literal cousin, boring everyone at the church ice cream social with logical, overprecise comparisons between one thing and another, long after Metaphor snuck out in search of bars to close.
Think again. Analogies can be near-magical tools for the researcher thought leader.…Read More
A church in my neighborhood holds a Saturday morning yoga class that I attend off and on. While the class was settling in, I overheard a discussion among some of the participants about kids and their smartphones — they’re on them all the time, they create bad posture, etc.…Read More
Sometime soon — today, tomorrow, this weekend — you should watch Esther Duflo’s TED talk. It’s a model for how to frame your disruptive research and ideas.
This is Esther Duflo who just won the Nobel Prize in economics for her research to find the most effective interventions against poverty and associated, preventable diseases.…Read More
I haven’t paid much attention to astronomy since the onset of puberty — but of course this piece caught my eye on Friday: BBC science reporter Pallab Ghosh writing for Undark on “Exoplanets, Life, and the Danger of a Single Study,” prompted by the uncritical media coverage (then walked back) of two papers published last month announcing the discovery of water vapor on a exoplanet called K2-18b.…Read More
Despite Smil’s reach—some of the world’s most powerful banks and bureaucrats routinely ask for his advice—he has remained intensely private. Other experts tap dance for attention and pursue TED talks. But Smil is a throwback, largely letting his books speak for themselves.…Read More
I wish I could feel vindicated by those five new super-controversial meta-analyses just published by the Annals of Internal Medicine contradicting nearly everything we’ve ever heard about the health risks to individuals of eating red and processed meats. (Good overviews here and here.)
But I feel sad — and not just because I haven’t eaten meat for more than 30 years.…Read More