08 January 2014

Science Advocacy

Last October I contributed an article to iPolitics on the troubled relationship between science and government, and how the current situation is new, but not that different from previous conflicts between scientists and politicians. John Dupuis amalgamated links to the entire series on his blog, and recently asked everyone who contributed to the series to fill out a biography. I've been studying and/or involved in the science advocacy community for some time, including attending the science history and science policy conferences, so I was more than happy to respond to John's questions. My comments, which I typed up over the break, came at the same time the government announced it was closing a number of science libraries, so the timing was unfortunately appropriate.

30 October 2013

Quick Updates on a Thursday

It has been a busy week with lots of good news, some of which is impossible to convey in 140 character tweets, so

11 April 2013


On April 9th I attended the wonderful conference hosted by the newly renamed Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History entitled, "The Pearson Government: 50 Years On." This was probably the finest conference I have attended, because of the depth and breadth of insight offered by speakers, commentators, and audience. It was a rare and splendid opportunity, and I'm glad I was able to reschedule my other meetings to attend.

01 November 2012

Tenure and the Culture of Failure in Academia

Why are career paths that aren't tenure track considered failures by so many of us? Why do we use expressions like 'abandon the academic job search' or 'plan b' even when we're trying to explain that non-academic jobs are good outcomes of graduate studies? The easy answer is to blame the conveyor belt model of academia, and the lack of non-academic perspective of most academics. The reality is probably more a case of individual priorities and goals.

04 October 2012

Nuclear Train and Operation Hurricane

Yesterday, 3 October 2012, was the 60th anniversary of Operation Hurricane, which was the first British test of an atomic bomb. Today, 4 October, is the 55th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. We're also less than two weeks away from the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It is, in other words, a good time to remember how lucky we are to be here.