An Endorsement for Francis Collins as Pres. Science Advisor
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Over at Monkey Trials, Scott Hatfield suggests that in the next administration the new presidential science advisor should be a famous science popularizer such as EO Wilson or perhaps even better Neil deGrasse Tyson. Not only would these individuals have the breadth of knowledge to advise in multiple areas of science, but just as importantly, they could serve as leading public ambassadors for science.
Just one problem: Most science popularizers such as Wilson or Tyson don't have the years of government experience to understand the machinations of Federal science policy. Moreover, they have a paper trail of strong opinions on issues that might make appointment politically tough.
Yet there is one person that scores high on all of these dimensions, plus one other major attribute. And that person is Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Project. Not only does Collins have top government experience but he is also a successful popularizer. And perhaps even more importantly, based on his background and writings, he would make a perfect science ambassador to religious America.
There's a growing understanding that drawing is much more than an art form: it's a powerful tool for learning.
- We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.
- Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.
- Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.
It may be simpler than we thought.
- An analysis of a massive amount of data reveals four new personality types.
- The study is the first to take self-reporting out of the equation.
- The four new types are "average," "reserved," "self-centered," and "role model".
Despite its prominence in our collective imagination, variations in metabolism play a minor role in obesity.
- Vox senior health correspondent Julia Belluz spent a day inside of a metabolic chamber at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
- Her 90 minutes on stationary cycle only burned 405 calories, just 17% of the day's total calories.
- Resting metabolism uses up the bulk of the body's energy.
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