Tag Archives: Science

How the far right co-opted science — and why scientists need to come out to counter them | Salon.com

The intellectual dark web is sophistically tying together biology and social behavior to justify discrimination

By Christopher T. Conner, Published May 8, 2022 7:30PM (EDT)

Green liquid spilled from test tube (Getty Images/mrdoggs)

Over the course of the pandemic, conservatives and far right representatives have mobilized in a widespread assault on science as an institution. While this was an ongoing phenomenon well before COVID, over the pandemic it has expanded into a variety of issues relevant that concern the LGBTQ+ community — especially in light of recent schools’ decision to remove safe space stickers or anything related to Pride, and the expected overturning of Roe v. Wade.

At the center of the maelstrom are a group of individuals who call themselves the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW)—so named by New York Times reporter Barry Weiss, and a label they have also used to describe themselves. While to most people this conjures up images of websites where people can buy illicit substances, the Intellectual Dark Web is merely a loosely affiliated group of celebrity academics and pseudo-intellectuals.

These include people like internet talk show hosts like Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan; but also discredited academics like Jordan Peterson, Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, who use their scientific credentials to justify conservative positions on hot button “culture war” topics like the legislation targeting the existence of LGBTQ+ people, prohibitions on critical race theory, and anti-abortion legislation — creating a rift between some individuals aligned with the IDW. Although the Intellectual Dark Web is not a formal organization, their mutual support has allowed their collective impact to be felt far and wide.

Source: How the far right co-opted science — and why scientists need to come out to counter them | Salon.com

Your dog’s breed doesn’t determine its personality, study suggests | Science | AAAS

Work challenges popular idea that breeds have specific, reliable behaviors

28 Apr 20222:00 PM, By David Grimm

Tod the papillon, posing for a photo at the end of his lifeKen Morrill/Yenra Photography

When Kathleen Morrill was 12, she decided she needed a puppy. Not just any puppy—a pint-size papillon with a black button nose and bushy, perky ears. When her parents resisted, “I turned on the waterworks,” laughs Morrill, now a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

And so, the family ended up with its first dog—a 2-month-old pup she named Tod.

Tod was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), whose website describes his breed as “curious” and “friendly” with a “hardy constitution.” But the puppy was shy and scared of strangers, and he developed separation anxiety as he aged.

When Morrill’s family got another papillon, Rosie, a year later, she was entirely different: bold, outgoing, and adoring of all people. “Breed can be important,” Morrill says, “but it’s not the full picture of a dog’s behavior.”

From article…

Now, she has the science to back that up.

In a new study, Morrill and her colleagues show that almost none of the behaviors we associate with dog breeds—from lovable Labradors to pugnacious pit bulls—are hard-wired.

Aside from a few ancient traits, environment seems to play a much larger role than pedigree.

Source: Your dog’s breed doesn’t determine its personality, study suggests | Science | AAAS

Do we still need to save the bees? | Popular Science

Yes, and no, and yes.

By Philip Kiefer | Published Apr 18, 2022 6:00 AM

Yes. But maybe not how you think. Viesinsh/Deposit Photos

Around 15 years ago, a slogan began to appear on bumper stickers, license plate holders, and tote bags: Save the bees.

The sense that these pollinators—and the food system they support—were in critical condition was all-pervasive. In 2014, an online poll in the UK found that respondents ranked the decline of bees as a more serious environmental threat than climate change.

But do we still need to save the bees?The answer is complicated: The public began worrying about bees at a time when western honeybees were dying in alarming numbers from a mysterious syndrome, colony collapse disorder.

Now, their populations are much more stable. However, wild bees, which play an entirely different role in our food system and environment, are still in trouble.

Source: Do we still need to save the bees? | Popular Science

Shock result in particle experiment could spark physics revolution – BBC News

By Pallab Ghosh, Science correspondent, Published 2 days ago

Fermilab
Image caption, The Fermilab Collider Detector obtained a result that could transform the current theory of physics

Scientists just outside Chicago have found that the mass of a sub-atomic particle is not what it should be.

The measurement is the first conclusive experimental result that is at odds with one of the most important and successful theories of modern physics.

The team has found that the particle, known as a W boson, is more massive than the theories predicted. The result has been described as “shocking” by Prof David Toback, who is the project co-spokesperson.

The discovery could lead to the development of a new, more complete theory of how the Universe works.

“If the results are verified by other experiments, the world is going to look different.” he told BBC News. “There has to be a paradigm shift. The hope is that maybe this result is going to be the one that breaks the dam.

“The famous astronomer Carl Sagan said ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’. We believe we have that.”

Physicists have known for some time that the theory needs to be updated.

It can’t explain the presence of invisible material in space, called Dark Matter, nor the continued accelerating expansion of the Universe by a force called Dark Energy.

Nor can it explain gravity.

Source: Shock result in particle experiment could spark physics revolution – BBC News