Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Science News Sites

The question came up where to find accessible science news. Here are a few. Remember that some of these may be available via the Pratt's online services. Make sure to check with them or to ask a reference librarian about their databases.

New Scientist
Scientific American and Scientific American News

BBC Radio's In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg has very good background discussions that can be downloaded as MP3s

Take a look/listen to the other Science programs there
A bit more sensational at times are:
BBC World Service Science
New York Times Science
Perhaps the most respected, though not so accessible both in terms of the
publication and because of its cost, is Nature

Sunday, December 14, 2008

DNA pioneer's own genes raise questions about the meaning of race

Commentary from By Arthur Caplan, Ph.D. contributor
updated 8:36 a.m. ET, Fri., Dec. 14, 2007
"An Iceland-based genomics company, deCODE genetics, conducted an analysis of Watson's DNA, which Watson had allowed to be placed on the Internet, and found that 16 percent of his genes are likely to have come from a black ancestor.....
Indeed, the racial outing of Watson was quite a surprise — most likely to the 79-year-old Nobel-prize winner. This past October he was forced to cancel a tour promoting his new book in England after opining in a British newspaper that he felt “inherently gloomy about the prospects for Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.” Jim’s fretting left him without a job at home — he retired from his job as chancellor at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York — and no longer especially welcome on the speaking circuit anywhere serious. Finding out one has black genes seems especially inconvenient for somebody proclaiming blacks to be genetically inferior."