New AAUP Report: “National Security, the Assault on Science, and Academic Freedom”

BY HANK REICHMAN Today the AAUP released a new report, “National Security, the Assault on Science, and Academic Freedom.”  The report details troubling threats to academic freedom in the physical and natural sciences that have been exacerbated by the Trump administration’s hostility to science.  International scientific exchange and, especially, the charging of innocent Chinese or…

Science Is a Kind of Poetry

BY MARTIN KICH If poetry is at its core the effort to give expression to the inexpressible aspects of our experience, then science is often a kind of poetry, or at least provides a complement to the poetic impulse. For science provides both a fundamental challenge to all simplistic notions about our existence and a…

Science in the Crosshairs

BY HANK REICHMAN Readers of this blog may be familiar with the regular National Public Radio (NPR) feature “Science Friday.”  Last week one 35-minute segment, “Science in the Crosshairs,” focused on governmental and other threats to the academic freedom of scientists.  It began with fetal tissue research: After furor erupted over a video seeming to…

Canadian Government Scientists Unmuzzled

For nearly a decade under Conservative rule, the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office exercised tight control over the release of information.  Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s swearing-in on Wednesday, however, things seem to be changing. One Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) producer requested an interview with Navdeep Bains, the new minister of innovation, science and economic development.  She heard…

What a Debate Is and Is Not: Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham

In American political discourse, there is a failure to distinguish between persuasion and argument that extends to the media coverage of politics and that distorts, sometimes grossly, the public understanding of and response to the issues of the day. Any student in a composition course that covers persuasion and argument learns that argument is a…