I'm in the very early stages of preparing a campaign to try to run in the 2016 election for US President. I'll be doing it as a transhumanist for the Transhumanist Party, a political organization I recently founded that seeks to use science and technology to radically improve the human being and the society we live in.
A struggle I have with trying to learn science as an adult is that it's often a solitary activity. Working in a children's museum, I'm constantly trying to promote interactive science experiences for kids, but outside museums I haven't found consistent hands-on opportunities for adults to deepen my understanding of science.
Now that Ebola is here, it has captured the attention it arguably deserved from us long ago. The latest news is that the patient first diagnosed in the U.S. is in critical condition, and receiving experimental therapy. Lapses in our public health system have been acknowledged, and a scramble to contain the damage, and prevent spread, are playing out as we look on, and worry.
Although things have changed considerably for women in the world of science since the brave and bold Marie Curie began paving the way, there are still far too few women pursuing science careers, including my own field of forest canopy biology. Simply put, we're missing out on a tremendous number of great minds.
For decades, studies of how our brains work by neurophysiologists and psychologists have turned up a massive User's Manual that seems to explain how and why we think the way we do. The reason that so many people distrust these findings is that they sometimes tell us unpleasant things about our deepest-held beliefs about who we are.
The stem-cell disgrace of Korean cloning fraudster Hwang Woo-suk has now inspired a movie. Whistle Blower opened in Korea this week. Names have been changed, and it's presented as fiction, but no one is even pretending it's not about the scientific "scandal of the century" that unfolded between 2004 and 2006.
In a recent New York Times op-ed, evolutionary biologist David Barash recounts telling the undergraduates in his animal behavior class that evolutionary science has "demolished two previously potent pillars of religious faith and undermined belief in an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God." Barash's claims of demolition are more "op" than "ed," I'm afraid.
Most scientists like to solve problems. That makes us very susceptible to anyone who asks us to come up with a solution to a technical challenge. Even worse, we love scientifically and technologically glamourous problems. And as a consequence, we are making decisions that I can only categorize as "really very stupid."