Current news headlines in Italy concern the 6-year prison sentence given to seven scientists and officials found guilty of manslaughter.
All were involved in the seismic activity committee, known as the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, which was summoned by Italy’s Civil Protection agency to consider a series of tremors in the L’Aquila area since December 2008.
Noam Chomsky's political writings are extremely useful for any understanding of the crimes of US imperialism. But his scientific work, whose political implications Chomsky denies, have been coming under increasing criticism from the left.
Recently an academic Marxist author managed to get an interesting critique of Chomsky into The Times Literary Supplement. It raises some interesting concerns.
HOW NOAM CHOMSKY'S WORLD WORKS by David Hawkes
Kickstarting a discussion on Stephen Jay Gould's first popular book form the late 70s, Ever Since Darwin.
A few people had expressed interest in discussing Stephen Jay Gould's book, Ever Since Darwin, as part of a science discussion/reading group. The book was Gould's first collection of essays from his monthly Natural History column.
A few general points first, then some specific ones about the first four essays that comprise the first chapter/section.
Gould's writing style
For over fifty years, Noam Chomsky has been exposing the crimes of the United States military across the world. Less well known is the fact that throughout this time, he was working in an electronics laboratory funded primarily by that same military. This article investigates the paradox, arguing that the Pentagon’s institutional support for Chomsky’s scientific work explains the special passion driving his political stance.
Noam Chomsky: Politics or Science?
It was first published by William Heinemann in London in October 1902. The individual chapters had originally been published in 1890-96 as a series of essays in the British monthly literary magazine, Nineteenth Century.
A text by Elisee reclus.
These two words, Evolution and Revolution, closely resemble one another, and yet they are constantly used in their social and political sense as though their meaning were absolutely antagonistic.
Biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling sets out a developmental systems approach to gender, refusing false dichotomies of nature-nurture and biology-culture.
Why do some people prefer heterosexual love while others fancy the same sex? Is sexual identity biologically determined or a product of convention? In this brilliant and provocative book, the acclaimed author of Myths of Gender argues that even the most fundamental knowledge about sex is shaped by the culture in which scientific knowledge is produced.
A short post on a small act of solidarity from a Nature editor in the 1870s.
An act of solidarity
I hadn't come across this little bit of anarcho history before, but it's in Kropotkin's Memoirs Of A Revolutionist and Dugatkin's The Prince of Evolution. It refers to a small act of solidarity from a journal editor in England in the 1870s, and a not-so supportive act from a leading English biologist a few years later.
Johnny Lawman all up on you? RUN!
A recent study in Psychological Science reports that cops who are knackered are less likely to recognise suspects later. 52 cops took part in the study, with about half being made to exercise until they were exhausted, then confronted with a crime-scene.
The researchers report: