The Science of Denial

Scientists sometimes find themselves wishing things were different. In one sense that’s a thoroughly unremarkable observation. After all, scientists are human, and humans have always found themselves wishing things were different. But what if some of the things scientists wish were different are the very things they have devoted themselves to studying? In other words, forget about salaries, teaching loads, and grant funding. What if some scientists want the brute facts of their own field of study to be other than what they really are? As odd as it may seem, particularly to non-scientists, that tension between preference and reality has always been a part of doing science. Like everyone else, scientists don’t just have ideas–they favor them… even promote Read More ›

Bold Biology For 2009

Original Article It’s a big year for all things Darwin.  This month, two centuries after his birth, we commemorate the man and his accomplishments.  And in November, a century and a half after On the Origin of Species was published, we commemorate the beginnings of the theory by which we all know him. But how exactly should we think of his theory?  Is it to be remembered the way we remember the man–as an important part of the past?  Or is it to be remembered as something more than that–as an intellectual seed that grew into something that thrives to this day? Many, of course, would like to think of Darwin’s theory in these flourishing terms.  But the growth of Read More ›