Daily Archives: August 9, 2010

An Interview with Jennifer Jacquet on the Gulf Oil Spill

“There are the obvious effects like oiled birds and saltmarshes, but it seems many of the effects will be more insidious. Scientists I spoke to are particularly concerned about the larval phases of fish and invertebrates, which are planktonic and not able to avoid patches of oil the way free-swimmers might. Experiments conducted after Exxon Valdez have shown that very small amounts of oil can have sublethal affects as well. Fortunately for BP, the ecology of the Gulf was already crippled. …”

This is an excellent interview. Read the rest here. Jennifer’s blog is here. .

Final Report of The National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee

… and 2010 Amendments to The National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

In 2005, the National Academies released the book, Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which offered a common set of ethical standards for a field that, due to the absence of comprehensive federal funding, was lacking national standards for research. In order to keep the Guidelines up to date, given the rapid pace of scientific and policy developments in the field of stem cell research, the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee was established in 2006 with support from The Ellison Medical Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

As it did in 2007 and 2008, the Committee identified issues that warranted revision, and this book addresses those issues in a third and final set of amendments. Specifically, this book sets out an updated version of the National Academies’ Guidelines, one that takes into account the new, expanded role of the NIH in overseeing hES cell research. It also identifies those avenues of continuing National Academies’ involvement deemed most valuable by the research community and other significant stakeholders.

Nineteen bucks at the NAS book store (click here) or free in PDF form (click same place and follow the links)

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery Boycott In Progress

Yeah, I used to go to the Town Hall a lot, when I worked a couple of blocks away. I still stop there for lunch now and then when I’ve got something to do on the West Bank campus of The U or nearby downtown. But no longer. Recently, an atheist-linked event was scheduled there, and the owners of the brewery/restaurant canceled it because “they don’t want you’re kind ’round here.”

Or so it seems. Details here.

I’ve booked events at the Town Hall, and on other occasions, the Town Hall was on my short list. Not any more. And I understand Ben’s point about going back to the Town Hall (see the post linked to) but I’ll be down the street at one of the other fine establishments in the area.

Creationist College Prof Will Not Return to Classroom

An adjunct community college professor had a bit of a problem when it came time to teach evolution, according to certain sources:

Student Bryan Jaden Walker wrote on his blog, … that the professor “glossed over the scientific explanation very quickly (less than 20 seconds), then explained Creationism for about five minutes (5,000-year-old Earth, no evolution, etc).”

“Evolution was not taught at all in his class,” Weis said. “When he hit that unit, instead of discussing it himself he had a single slide that had both creationism and evolution. When I spoke up and asked him about it, he claimed there was no evidence for either, but they are just different world views.”

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