Remeasuring Stephen Jay Gould

by Matt Bruenig
May 22, 2017

The day after Stephen Jay Gould died, his obituary appeared on the front page of the New York Times, testifying to his position as the most famous scientist in the United States. His talent for synthesizing ideas and arguments, his work ethic, and — as he would have been the first to note — luck made him famous.

He had not planned to write his monthly column, “This View of Life,” for Natural History for twenty-five years, but, like his childhood hero Joe DiMaggio, Gould became known for this literary streak, which breathed new life into the half-forgotten art of the popular scientific essay, a tradition that dates back to Galileo.

Like Galileo, Gould did more than interpret science for laypeople. He was also a path-breaking evolutionary theorist and a canny political organizer for leftist causes.


From the March for Science to an Abolitionist Science

Britt Rusert
April 20, 2017


Science as Radicalism

by William Gillis
It’s no secret that a good portion of the left today considers science profoundly uncool. A slight affinity with it persists among a majority, but few asides of scorn by the continental philosophers influential in the contemporary leftist canon see spirited response and science’s most prominent champions remain dated historical figures like Peter Kropotkin and Élisée Reclus. Indeed there’s a lingering whiff of technocratic stodginess and death that the word “science” has never quite shaken. Those leftists most associated with it have a tendency to either be authoritarians looking to legitimize near-fascist narratives, or doe-eyed activists enchanted by saccharine visions of self-managed bureaucracies and The Meeting That Never Ends. To a great many who identify as radicals “science” appears in our lives primarily as a place our various enemies habitually retreat to conjure the authority their shoddy arguments couldn’t.

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Nuclear containment risk at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Recent scientific studies from Japan show that 75% of the radiation created by the meltdowns was released more than 5 days after the catastrophe, while only 25% of the radiation was released during the first 4 days. This data, which is posted on the website, shows that the total gaseous and liquid radioactive releases from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown exceed the radiation released during and after the Chernobyl meltdown, while Fukushima Daiichi radioactivity continues to bleed into the Pacific Ocean.
How then can so much radiation possibly penetrate all the radiation barriers engineers designed for nuclear power’s safe operation?
When I received my bachelor and master degree in nuclear engineering, nuclear engineers were taught that there are at least 6 barriers that protected us from massive radiation releases during and following nuclear emergencies.
Lets look at these radiation release barriers:

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World’s most widely used insecticide proven to damage bees’ brains

For the first time, scientists have found evidence that the insecticide most frequently used on crops such as corn, canola, cotton, and soybeans is messing with the brains of bumblebees, and causing poor performance in their colonies.
The reasons behind the global decline of bees and other insect pollinators have been as mysterious as they’ve been controversial, but now we have the first evidence to suggest that commercially available insecticides are impairing the brain activity of individual bumblebees, and the performance of entire colonies.

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