Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dance party at the home for deranged scientists

I can't believe I've never actually seen this...

Blinded By Science: The Playlist

Josh was awesome enough to dig up a rare Devo LP just for this very show, and I'm sorry to say that I wasn't able to use any of it. So I've put together a playlist of songs used and not used in the show, the usual amalgam of indie rock and 80s techno classics. In my opinion, it pretty much sums up the job we're trying to do here: first get thinky, then get dancy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

An elephant never forgets...REVENGE!

Or so the story goes in Charles Siebert's NYTM article on traumatized elephants in Uganda, mentioned in this month's show. It's the kind of science writing we like a lot around here. Also, while on the subject of cuddly rampages, here's an awesome article on bears. And some freakin' cute video from your most trusted name in bears, CNN.

An Elephant Crackup? [The New York Times Magazine]
Are Humans Causing Elephants to Go Crazy? [NPR]
The Bears Among Us [The New York Times Magazine]

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Episode #3: Blinded By Science

When writer Cris Beam sat down with a neuroscientist to discuss how a particular part of the brain worked, she found that they weren't even speaking a common language. This month's show explores the intersection of writing and science. In particular, the frustrations writers have in getting a narrative out of scientists, and the frustrations scientists have with writers who might oversimplify their findings.Columbia biology professor Stuart Firestein and first-year neurobiology student Carl Schoonover know how hard it is to communicate with writers working on deadline, and they're sure science writing can be better—it has to be. Because science misunderstood can travel around the world like a game of high stakes "Telephone." Like how groundbreaking work in particle physics has devolved into a black hole that will destroy us all.

There's an art to science writing, and it's a delicate one. Science writer Charles Siebert waxes poetic about the "metaphoric bridges" writers can build between scientists' work and readers' imaginations. And Meehan Crist reads from her forthcoming nonfiction book about the nature of consciousness. {ML}