In Wisconsin, An Offline Discussion About Expelled Strategy
You don't have to be a social scientist to recognize that the distribution of opinion among people who comment at Scienceblogs is very different from the perspective found among the wider science community and even among leaders in the atheist movement. The reality of this perceptual gap was reinforced for me over the last two days as I gave the latest round of Framing Science talks at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. At the two campus presentations, roughly 150 faculty and students turned out to share in a very thoughtful and inspiring discussion about new directions in science communication. In each lecture, I ended by discussing Expelled along with last week's debate over how to effectively counter the film's PR campaign. The science faculty I spoke with, many of them atheists, appeared to be in strong agreement that continuing to feed the conflict frame only helps market the film.
Lesson: Don't Be a Dodo
I had a wonderful time visiting the university and I need to especially thank Professor Paul Thomas and the Physics, Geology, Geography, and English faculty for their hospitality. I also had breakfast and several great conversations with UW professor Ruth Cronje, who just two weeks ago published a letter at Science elaborating on the arguments we presented in last year's Policy Forum essay.
I am down in Madison until tomorrow, catching up with several friends and colleagues (blogging right now from Espresso Royale on State Street). On Monday, I will be at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School to give a lunchtime talk, where again Expelled strategy is sure to be part of the discussion. Meanwhile, PZ has generated another cheerleading moment for his blog readers. A mysterious viral video has also appeared. Sadly, the Expelled producers must be very pleased with the massive amount of online buzz about their film. I will likely have more to say about these events at the talk at Princeton and in blog posts next week.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
A plan to forgive almost a trillion dollars in debt would solve the student loan debt crisis, but can it work?
- Senator Elizabeth Warren has just proposed a bold education reform plan that would forgive billions in student debt.
- The plan would forgive the debt held by more than 30 million Americans.
- The debt forgiveness program is one part of a larger program to make higher education more accessible.
A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.
- Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
- Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
- The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.
- The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
- The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
- Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people.
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