- Why policymakers and scholars ignore each other, and what should be done about it, by Francis J. Gavin and James B. Steinberg. This longish article strikes so many chords with what I've learned about science policy advising, uncertainty, communication, scenario construction, and interdisciplinary. Long story short: academics, stop being so egotistical, start working with other fields, and stop promoting grand-unified-theories. History isn't on the side of grand-unified-theories, and there's sometimes more gained from "muddling through" and being a fox, rather than a hedgehog. Slog through the foreign policy bits and read the full essay!
- The Gambler and the Scientist by Dan Sarewitz and The Fight Over Evolution Isn't Actually All That Important by Kevin Drum (h/t Praj). Both of these articles raise the question: how important is science literacy, and what skills do people actually need to know?
- Despite What You’ve Heard, Tech is Not a Man’s World: Talking to Intel’s Genevieve Bell. On women and their role in the history of technology adoption. An excerpt:
"Enter technology. It can be absolutely liberating. It lets you juggle multiple commitments and not worry about certain things. You can watch the programs you care about without having to fiddle with the VCR. You don’t have to bother other people. For e-books, you suddenly don’t have to go to the bookstore. It will come to you. Some women describe this as a kind of guilty pleasure, like beating the system."
- No, America Does NOT Need More Scientists and Engineers by Derek Lowe (h/t Mark Largent). Part of the continued response to a recent article in Slate.
- R&D is not Innovation by Roger Pielke, Jr. A good, clear example of why R&D (or "basic research") spending does not equal innovation or market success.
- And for academic article of the week, here's Uncertainty: Climate models at their limit? by Mark Maslin and Patrick Austin (h/t Erik Conway). A short, readable piece that is very much related to scientific uncertainty and policy, and of special interest to you climate change folks. You'll need online access to Nature magazine, or email me and I can send you a copy.