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Stories by Janet D. Stemwedel

I’m so glad we’ve had this time together.

Today the editors of the Scientific American Blog Network are announcing a new vision for the network, one with increased editorial oversight and more editorial curation of the subjects covered by network bloggers.

December 15, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Twenty-five years later.

Twenty-five years ago today, on December 6, 1989, in Montreal, fourteen women were murdered for being women in what their murderer perceived to be a space that rightly belonged to men: Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student Barbara Daigneault (born [...]

December 6, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Giving thanks.

This being the season, I’d like to take the opportunity to pause and give thanks. I’m thankful for parents who encouraged my curiosity and never labeled science as something it was inappropriate for me to explore or pursue.

November 30, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

A guide for science guys trying to understand the fuss about that shirt.

This is a companion to the last post, focused more specifically on the the question of how men in science who don’t really get what the fuss over Rosetta mission Project Scientist Matt Taylor’s shirt was about could get a better understanding of the objections — and of why they might care.

November 17, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Ebola, abundant caution, and sharing a world.

Today a judge in Maine ruled that quarantining nurse Kaci Hickox is not necessary to protect the public from Ebola. Hickox, who had been in Sierra Leone for a month helping to treat people infected with Ebola, had earlier been subject to a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey upon her return to the U.S., despite [...]

October 31, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

You’re not rehabilitated if you keep deceiving.

Regular readers will know that I view scientific misconduct as a serious harm to both the body of scientific knowledge and the scientific community involved in building that knowledge.

October 12, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Communicating with the public, being out as a scientist.

In the previous post, I noted that scientists are not always directly engaged in the project of communicating about their scientific findings (or about the methods they used to produce those findings) to the public.

September 30, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Are scientists who don’t engage with the public obliged to engage with the press?

In posts of yore, we’ve had occasion to discuss the duties scientists may have to the non-scientists with whom they share a world. One of these is the duty to share the knowledge they’ve built with the public — especially if that knowledge is essential to the public’s ability to navigate pressing problems, or if [...]

September 30, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Complacent in earthquake country.

A week ago, there was a 6.0 earthquake North of San Francisco. I didn’t feel it, because I was with my family in Santa Barbara that weekend.

August 31, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Fall semester musing on numbers.

The particular numbers on which I’m focused aren’t cool ones like pi, although I suspect they’re not entirely rational, either.

August 30, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

Some thoughts about the suicide of Yoshiki Sasai.

In the previous post I suggested that it’s a mistake to try to understand scientific activity (including misconduct and culpable mistakes) by focusing on individual scientists, individual choices, and individual responsibility without also considering the larger community of scientists and the social structures it creates and maintains.

August 9, 2014 — Janet D. Stemwedel

This summer, explore the cosmos with an All Access subscription.