Jan. 24th, 2012

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Professor David Archer and the University of Chicago, in whose Department of the Physical Sciences he teaches, have made available for free online a series of 24 lectures (well, 23 plus an introductory bittock) explaining the science of climate change in-depth but for nonscientists.

The lectures are, alternatively, downloadable from here.

It's interesting to speculate how many "climate skeptics" will take this freely available course. My guess is, of course, a cynical one -- they'd rather watch a Christopher Monckton pander to their ignorance -- but, hey, I could be wrong.


h/t Open Culture
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Over on the Culture of Science blog, the estimable Sheril Kirshenbaum tells a tale that's both very funny and frighteningly illustrative of why the public knowledge of science is so poor.

A TV crew arrived to interview her about something in her specialist area of science, because it related to a topical news story. She expected -- perhaps naively -- that what they wanted of her was an explanation of the science.

No way. The director already had his own -- barmy -- pet theory for what was going on, and wanted her to explain that.

Her tale ends thus:

Reporter: ‘Stop, let’s reshoot. We need you to say something about the sun being a factor. And let’s get you wading into the water. Pretend you’re catching something.‘

Me: ‘Uh, the sun didn’t cause the bloom . . . and you do realize I’m wearing a dress, right?‘

Reporter: ‘You can say your reason too, but name the sun as another ‘theory’. And just look science-y.'


Unfortunately, she doesn't name names; it would be a public service if she did. Even so, go read the whole piece, share it and, the next time someone assures you that some piece of pseudoscientific garbage must be true because they heard it on the evening news, share Kirshenbaum's story with them.



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