Science is about Humanity [link]
Science serves human rights
and our well being [link]
Science serves our curiosities about
the world around us [link]
Science serves our curiosities about
the universe far beyond us [link]

(Daily Posts Below [link])

Items linked to here are curated to be:
trustworthy [link], from trustworthy sources [link],
easy to understand, uplifting.
Entries are curated by Don F Moyer PhD [link]
Physicist, Historian of Science,
Patent Agent, Teacher, Retired

We made good progress in human rights with Obama as President. Now with the 115th congress and 45th president there are threats to reverse one hundred years of progress in human rights. So, I must keep my focus on advocating for human rights [link] here and everywhere I can.

Nothing satisfies as well as curiosity
Question all answers
Embrace Differences

Daily Posts

Friday, 28 Apr 2017 The Ed Yong piece which I linked to Monday best captures core meanings of the marches for science. A video published by Scientific American nicely captures some parts of the picture [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Thursday, 27 Apr 2017 My mention yesterday of the movement against nuclear fission and fusion weapons reminded me of a piece I wanted to read but forgot about. The piece by historian Jimena Canales is about our government, after we used nules in Japan, linking nukes to physics and energy and carefully hiding that the fission fragments created and released in the explosion are a poison gas which is banned.

The piece is very well done and very important to remind us about how we go wrong. The piece [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017 To the discussion yesterday about what comes after the marches for science I will add some observations. Over my 79 years I observed three major civil movements at fairly close range: the movement against nuclear fission and fusion weapons, the civil rights movement, and the movement against our war in Viet Nam. (The first two should be revived and we need a new version of the third.)

Marches in those movements were very important. Marching showed our number to ourselves, to persons maybe interested in joining us, to persons we hopped would be moved by our purpose.

At least equally, marching fortified our sense of shared purpose and marching fortified our sense of ongoing movement. I do hope that, with the marches for science Saturday last, we do have the beginning of a strong civil movement for science.

Best science — Best human rights

Tuesday, 25 Apr 2017 Many marches for science, many places. Seven continents, including Antarctica and the Arctic. DC reported 45,000 marchers. Here in Chicago 40,000 was reported. So, what happens next?

Again, I turn to Ed Yong one of my favorite science writers writing for The Atlantic one of my favorite sources of the best science writing. He talked with a social scientist studying things like this [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Monday, 24 Apr 2017 My great thanks to science marchers — I wish I could have been with you [link]. The best account I know is by Ed Yong [link] one of my favorite science writers writing for The Atlantic [link] one of my favorite sources of the best science writing.

There are two things I especially like about Ed Yong's account. I like his focus on children. This helps us understand that this story is not about special interest. This story is about humanity, our past, our future.

I also like his focus on all the nifty hand-made signs. "There is no planet B." My favorite is by a young girl (under 10 I think). It says: "Only atoms can make things up." All those signs tell the story much better than too many bloviations by the "news media" so-called.

It would be very nice to have a big compilation of photos of those signs.

Best science — Best human rights

Friday, 21 Apr 2017 Take a lesson from innovation and evolution: mess drives changes which can improve human rights.

Worry about calls for efficiencies which will lock in power and wealth and will harm human rights.

Best science — Best human rights

Thursday, 20 Apr 2017 Our National Academy of Sciences, our most reliable science source [link], Just published a very important report: "Information Technology and the U.S. Workforce." This is about big human rights dangers. Big changes are afoot and we are flying blind — we do not have information we need to prepare ourselves, to avoid harms to human rights.

Tom Mitchell and Erik Brynjolfsson co-chaired the committee which did the NAS report. They recently published a short commentary about the NAS report which is published on the Nature website [link].

Here is a link to the NAS report [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Wednesday, 19 Apr 2017 This is a crazy and maybe wonderful idea. Rather than have scientists apply for funding from agencies like NIH, scientists would get a full share of total dollars for research with two conditions. The first condition would be that they grant a percentage of their share to other scientists doing good work. The second condition would be that they do not just fund friends.

Here is an explanation published on the Science website [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 It is frequently suggested that it would be good for scientists to publish their failures. Here is a link to a suggestion published a few days ago on the Scientific American website [link].

One problem would be finding failure publications. An answer might be that when scientists publish positive results they append information about failures, which could be a cyber appendix.

Best science — Best human rights

Monday, 17 Apr 2017 We all have the right "to share in scientific advancement and its benefits" [link]. Our sciences are essential for all our human rights. Which is why we want to have the best sciences so that we can have the best human rights.

A big step toward improving our sciences is by our National Academy of Science, our most reliable science source, [link] publishing a major report on "Fostering Integrity in Research" [link].

Science is done by humans and we all have our flaws which means that the science we do can have flaws. There can be outright cheating. There can be flimsy research design and creative data fiddling. There has been very little of this. Very little is too much.

You can read about this report via this editorial in Science [link] and via this Science feature [link]

The key recommendation of the NAS report is "establishing a new Research Integrity Advisory Board (RIAB)." "The RIAB is proposed as a new, independent, nonprofit organization that will work with all stakeholders in the research enterprise to develop and disseminate solutions. Its specific priorities include bolstering the capacity of research institutions to investigate misconduct allegations, raising standards and improving research environments, and addressing other vulnerabilities in the system." (Quotes from the Science editorial.)

Best science — Best human rights

Friday, 14 Apr 2017 To be rewarded by their universities scientists need to publish lots in high impact journals. To publish in high impact journals scientists need to find surprising results. One way to find surprising results is flimsy experimental design paired with creative data analysis. (Another way is outright cheating.) Too many of these surprising results can not be verified by other scientists.

So, there is much talk in science organizations and science publishers about means to change this “reproducibility crisis.” And, there are worries that this talk can be used against science by enemies of science [link] [link].

My favorite idea to increase reproducibility is to encourage collaboration among labs. Trustworthy science works best when persons having different points of view and having different skills sets work together embracing difference [link].

Collaboration can be encouraged and rewarded by science funding agencies, by science organizations, by science publishers, by universities. Everyone wins.

Bad news just published: colaborations in Europe have declined [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 Science organizations, scientists, science writers, science advocates must be more forthcoming about errors and uncertainties.

"Truth" is a problem. Philosophers still argue about what "truth" might be.

"Law" is a problem. Newtonian gravity is a "law" except when it is not.

"Fact" is a problem. All measurements and calculations have errors and uncertainties.

I prefer to say that science gives us trustworthy evidence and to disclose all errors and uncertainties. When we disclose errors and uncertainties we are positioned to show how errors and uncertainties are reduced as science advances [link].

People making evidence-free claims can not talk about errors and uncertainties and can not show errors and uncertainties being reduced. No discussion of errors and uncertainties is the best test I know to root out evidence-free claims.

Best science — Best human rights

Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 While advocating for science we must carefully avoid doing or saying anything which might be seen as claiming to be high priests of truth. Too many of our fellows already see sciences and scientists as inhabiting a world foreign to the world inhabited by those fellows.

We must add much more humility to the picture. Even the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society is a small part of a long running and worldwide effort to serve humanity. Scientists are human beings with all the virtues and flaws of our fellow human beings.

Picturing science as special, needing special treatment will not work. Science is as important as farming, as shopkeeping, as manufacturing, as coal mining, as . . .

Best science — Best human rights

Tuesday, 11 Apr 2017 Marches for science must not be seen as protests. Movements — and persons — do not succeed by being against other movements or persons.

Movements — and persons — do succeed by being for some values, for serving humanity, for serving our well being, for serving our curiosities about ourselves and the world around us, for serving our curiosities about the universe far beyond us [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Monday, 10 Apr 2017 Fifty years ago — 04 April 1967 — Martin Luther King Jr gave us his great "Beyond Vietnam" speech. It is still and especially relevant today. And, it is uplifting which we dearly need. You can read and hear the speech via this [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Friday, 07 Apr 2017 We hear now much talk claiming that our government should not be involved in health care. The wise persons who created our government many years ago did not believe this. Health care was a responsibility of our government from the earliest beginnings of our government [link].

Best science — Best human rights

Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 Public health gives us excellent examples of sciences serving humanity. Public health is served by many sciences.

Public health also depends on our understanding that my health depends on your health, that my health depends on everyone's health, that my health depends on the great work by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Africa [link].

My health, your health, everyone's health everywhere depends on air free of toxic particle and toxic chemical contaminants. Revoking environmental protection regulations is a direct assault on our health. The costs, including the dollar costs, will be enormous [link]

Best science — Best human rights

Wednesday, 05 Apr 2017 Today builds on Friday's post about Hans Rosling, super servant of humanity, scientist, science communicator [link]. The software he uses to talk about data is available free from [link] [link].

I said Friday that Hans Rosling inspired and informed the super work of Melinda and Bill Gates. I found a short "party trick" video with Hans and Bill talking about vaccines, which you can see via this [link].

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing super work worth following via their YouTube site [link] and via their web site [link]

Best science — Best human rights

Tuesday, 04 Apr 2017 We think that cooperation is a defining feature of humanity. We think that our brains grew large to best live and work together. Psychologists and economists devised games to measure levels of cooperation and to learn more about the evolution and robustness of cooperation.

Now some jokers got computers to learn those well studied cooperation games [link]. After a few turns computers began cooperating at near 100 percent. The human average is 60 percent.

Best science — Best human rights

Monday, 03 Apr 2017 To become a scientist, to be a scientist you must learn to fail. You can see successful scientists saying this in various ways via this [link].

You will also see them say in various ways how they serve humanity.

Best science — Best human rights


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