Monday, February 23, 2009

Very Gradual Change We Can Believe In

Although I am heartily sick of the Obamicon and its iterations, I must give high praise to Mike Rosulek for the excellent Darwinia poster. I'll be buying a tshirt from Zazzle because all profits will be donated to The National Center for Science Education (NCSE). As I'm writing this, already over $130 $250 $550 $700 has been raised. Awesome Mike!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Evolution 2009

The Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists and the Society of Systematic Biologists will be holding their annual joint meeting this summer in lovely Moscow, Idaho. I received my Master's degree from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho so the event will be something of a homecoming for me.

The meeting will be held June 12-16, 2009.

The venue of the meeting, Moscow, Idaho, is a western college town situated at the transition between the Northern Rockies and the rolling palouse grasslands of the interior Pacific Northwest. Moscow (pronounced "Mos-coh" by locals) was settled in 1871, and became home to the University of Idaho, Idaho's land-grant university, in 1889. UI and Washington State University (which is only six miles away in the town of Pullman, Washington) form a major center of biological research in the Pacific Northwest. Idaho is the state where protected wildernesses was first created, and within a short drive from Moscow you can enjoy world-class whitewater rafting, fishing, backcountry hiking and mountain climbing; go west and you'll cross the geological marvels of the channelled scablands to reach Washington's premier wine country.

Following the meeting, I am trying to arrange a raft trip to one of the fantastic wild rivers of Idaho: Selway, Lochsa, Salmon or Snake. Failing that, I will backpack in the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48. I am looking forward to the woods almost as much as I am looking forward to the scientific program.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Call for Submissions: Citation Classics

I will be hosting the next edition of The Giant's Shoulders here at The Evilutionary Biologist.

The Giant's Shoulders is a monthly blog carnival dedicated to classic science papers. My original aim when I started The Evilutionary Biologist was to write about one classic biology paper each week. The rationale was three-fold. One, to increase science appreciation by discussing the great science experiments of yesteryear. Two, to foster awareness of the human side of science by highlighting personal anecdotes. Three, to personally learn more about how to do good science by reading the work of the masters. Although my posting has been ever more stochastic due to the constraints of life on the tenure-track, I still post as often as I am able.

I've been a regular participant in The Giant's Shoulders since I found out about it (except for last month's edition), and enjoy learning about the work that others feel is classic. I urge you to participate, write about a science classic that really floats your boat, and submit it at Blog Carnival. Submissions need to be received by March 15th.

About “The Giant’s Shoulders”

If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” - Isaac Newton, in a letter to Robert Hooke, 1676. (Though the metaphor goes back much further.)

“The Giant’s Shoulders” is a monthly science blogging event, in which authors are invited to submit posts on “classic” scientific papers. Submissions are due on the fifteenth of each month, and entries will be aggregated and linked to on the host blog of the month. Links to entries should be sent to that month’s host blog.

What defines a “classic” paper? This depends upon the field in question, but one expects that the work should have somewhat stood the test of time: we suggest perhaps 10 years old, or more. Contributors should not only describe the research involved but also put it in a broader historical/scientific context: why is the work in question important/groundbreaking/revolutionary/nifty?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Darwin Day at Revolution Books NYC

Dave Fitch, Sam Datta and I will be speaking about Darwin Sunday at 4PM at Revolution Books in NYC (146 West 26th b/t 6th and 7th Ave).


Presentations followed by questions and discussion of Darwin's epic breakthrough, the theory of evolution, and its implications for science and a scientific approach to the world.

Dave Fitch teaches evolution at New York University, and will speak on how Darwin uncovered the reality of branching evolution, and how Darwin used the scientific method to distinguish between alternative hypotheses.

John Dennehy teaches microbiology and the evolution of infectious disesases at Queens College and CUNY Grad Center, and will talk about how important evolution is in understanding how germs develop resistance to antibiotics.

Sam Datta, on behalf of Revolution Books, will speak on the science of creation and the myth of creationism--knowing what's real and why it matters.

Hope to see you there!