Life as an Extreme Sport

Virtually Speaking Science: Megalodons, Mermaids, & More with David Shiffman

Tonight on Virtually Speaking Science, I have a treat for biology and science fiction lovers: David Shiffman, a PhD student in shark biology and conservation at the University of Miami, known to many by his Twitter name WhySharksMatter, will be joining me to talk about his research and social media outreach efforts, including shark week and Sharknado II. (And yes, megalodons, mermaids, Discovery Channel, and all that jazz.) We’ll start at 5pm PT/8pm ET over at BlogTalk Radio, or you can join us in Second Life! If you’d like to ask David a question, feel free to tweet me the question ahead of time, and use the hashtag #VSpeak or #AskVS. During the show, definitely use the hashtags and either tweet me or my producer, Sherry. Talk to you tonight!

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Is Science Online a Con or a Conference?

As is inevitable in a situation like this, the dialog around Bora Zivkovic’s harassment of women has moved beyond his actions and resignations, and is now looking at the larger community and what sort of operational changes need to be made. This is clearly a more opaque process at Scientific American, since they have remained mostly silent–one presumes on the advice of lawyers. For Science Online, it’s a debate that’s happening out in public, on blogs and Twitter. Over the weekend, Chad Orzel saw comments I made on Twitter, and it motivated him to put forth his own specific take on the core issue affecting Science Online right now. Orzel’s post is well worth the read, both for the history of this particular blogging group and the Science Online conference. Orzel’s summary of the problem is this: Science Online has been trying to split the difference between functioning as a

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SciAm Doesn’t Think Sexism in Science is “An Issue”—Will They Think Boycotts Are?

There has been a lot of talk this year about supporting women in science and related tech fields, about how it’s not okay to sexually harass a graduate student or colleague, about how rape jokes aren’t okay, and in general, how hostile academia, science, and technology can still be for women. Yesterday, a Biology Online editor gave a pretty stunning example of this: he called biologist DNLee an urban whore for refusing to write for the Biology Online for free. We know about this because she blogged about it over at her Scientific American blogs column, Urban Scientist. And this was important for several reasons. First, many other biologists had casually agreed to work with Biology Online without being aware of the sexism of at least one of their editors (and many have now pulled posts due to it). Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, DNLee’s experience is a data point

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