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Chris Mooney

Blog Entries by Chris Mooney

Stephen Colbert, Scientific Pioneer

(661) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 8:07 AM

In my last post here, I explored what I called the science of "truthiness": How we can come to understand the denial of science, on issues like global warming, by examining the underlying psychology of political conservatism itself.

But I must confess that in that item, I...

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The Science of Truthiness: Why Conservatives Deny Global Warming

(1489) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 9:28 AM

Note: These are notes for remarks that I gave recently at the Tucson Festival of Books, where I was asked to talk about my new book The Republican Brain on a panel entitled "Will the Planet Survive the Age of Humans?"

So the question before...

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Does College Make You Liberal -- or Do Liberals Make Colleges?

(1088) Comments | Posted March 1, 2012 | 7:56 AM

Lately Rick Santorum has been singing every tune from the Culture Wars: Greatest Hits album. So of course he soon came around to attacking higher education, charging that going to college makes people less religious, that universities are "indoctrination mills" and even that liberal Penn State...

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Want to Understand Republicans? First Understand Evolution

(2543) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 9:26 AM

Earlier this week, yesterday's Republican primary champ Rick Santorum called global warming a "hoax." Yes, a hoax. In other words, apparently scientists are in a global cabal to needlessly alarm us about what's happening with the climate -- and why would they do such a thing?

Well, presumably to...

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Why Republicans Deny Science: The Quest for a Scientific Explanation

(5006) Comments | Posted January 11, 2012 | 8:20 AM

Last week, we went through a familiar ritual: Hand-wringing and alarm over Republican politicians denying scientific reality. This time around, the main focus was Rick Santorum, the anti-evolutionist and climate change denier who is one of the worst of the worst in this area (and who

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Why It's Time to Rock Alzheimer's

(9) Comments | Posted November 16, 2010 | 7:25 AM

Tomorrow, a glitzy 6 page public service campaign goes public in GQ magazine, featuring a band of 19 leading biomedical research scientists paired up with 8 famous rock stars. Dubbed the Rock Stars of Science™ campaign, it's a dramatic spread designed to make the public inquire, "Who are...

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Science Rocks -- If Only it Could Catch America's Attention

(61) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 7:02 AM

It's a staggering paradox, when you think about it.

We live in a country, the United States, that boasts the finest universities in the world. It's a country that invests far more in scientific research than any other nation -- the president's total 2011 budget request for research and...

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How Richard Dawkins Communicates Evolution (Surprise, It's Not the Same Thing as Atheism)

(696) Comments | Posted October 7, 2009 | 2:25 PM

You would be forgiven for not knowing what goes on daily in the science-centered blogosphere--but a recent fracas there casts a lot of light on the ongoing (if not unending) battle over the relationship between science, religion, and atheism.

It all started like this: Richard Dawkins, the author of the...

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The American Science Deficit -- and What to do About it

(88) Comments | Posted July 20, 2009 | 10:54 AM

Today, on the 40 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we will hear a great deal about NASA's woes, the nation's declining interest in space exploration, and much else. It is crucial, though, to set such observations in the context of a far broader disengagement with science that...

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Here We Go Again: Global Warming and Hurricane Felix

(61) Comments | Posted September 3, 2007 | 10:26 AM


[Hurricane Felix, a Category 5 in the Caribbean. Image courtesy of the Weather Underground.]

Last night, Hurricane Felix explosively intensified over the Caribbean Sea, so much so that a reconnaissance aircraft in the storm had to abort its mission due to "extreme...

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Katrina Musings: What About All of Our Other Vulnerable Coastal Cities?

(23) Comments | Posted August 29, 2007 | 10:21 AM

Today, the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall, my hometown of New Orleans is getting some much needed attention. And rightly so: It's a scandal that in the years since the disaster, all too little has changed. Time magazine recently blazoned the word "pathetic" on its cover to describe...

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What We Can and Can't Say About Global Warming and Hurricane Dean

(170) Comments | Posted August 21, 2007 | 8:43 AM

Hurricane Dean at landfall early this morning, image courtesy of the Weather Underground.

Now we see why the ancient Mayans built their cities inland from the coasts.

Early this morning, Hurricane Dean slammed the Yucatan as a still-intensifying Category 5 storm...

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Report From Yearly Kos: The Intersection of Science and Progressive Values

(18) Comments | Posted August 6, 2007 | 10:29 AM

I've been quite fortunate in the past year or so to have appeared not once, but twice, on the central science related panel at the progressive mega-conference Yearly Kos. As a result, I've been able to observe closely the ongoing integration of science into the broader agenda of progressive...

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Why Did Global Warming "Tip"? (Part II)

(26) Comments | Posted July 6, 2007 | 9:26 AM

In my previous post--written in anticipation of tomorrow's Live Earth concert--I presented media coverage data showing that in the past few years, global warming has seen a meteoric rise in attention at agenda setting newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. I also discussed some...

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Why Did Global Warming "Tip"? (Part I)

(72) Comments | Posted July 5, 2007 | 11:01 AM

** Note: "Part II" of this post is now online.**

In my recent conversations with peers in the science policy world (read "fellow geeks"), the same question has come up repeatedly of late: Why did global warming "tip"? How has the issue finally managed to go mainstream, so that...

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If Attacking Al Gore Was a Movie, It Would be Say Anything

(129) Comments | Posted June 26, 2007 | 7:23 AM

Oddly, if the goal is to slam Al Gore, it often seems as if standards of serious discussion suddenly vanish. Even scientific information -- which you'd think people would be inclined to wield cautiously -- gets treated as if it's putty.

That was on full display with this Washington...

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Of Idiocy and Optimal Climates

(92) Comments | Posted May 31, 2007 | 9:01 AM

By now it's zinging around more or less everywhere. NASA administrator Michael Griffin made this mind-boggling statement to NPR:

I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with....
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Risky Scenarios

(2) Comments | Posted May 29, 2007 | 1:23 PM

Here we are, just days from the official start of hurricane season. We've already seen our first named storm, Andrea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just joined pretty much every other major hurricane forecaster in saying that we're looking at a dangerously active year ahead...

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Another Bad Hurricane Year Forecast

(11) Comments | Posted April 3, 2007 | 1:30 PM

New Orleans, LA -- Last year, thanks largely to the late and rapid onset of El Niño conditions in the Pacific, we had a relatively uneventful Atlantic hurricane season, without a single storm of hurricane strength making landfall in the U.S. The relationship between El Niño and less active Atlantic...

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Be Careful What You E-Mail (Or, More Proof of Bush Admin Meddling with Climate Science)

(30) Comments | Posted March 28, 2007 | 12:30 PM

To all you Bush administration underlings who've been tempted to block or divert a government scientist's media interview request, or modify a scientific report, or suppress it entirely, a word of advice:

It's going to come out eventually.

That's a lesson to remember as we await today's House hearing--the...

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