Archive for the 'Reader participation' category

Questions for the scientists in the audience.

Today in my "Ethics in Science" class, we took up a question that reliably gets my students (a mix of science majors and non-science major) going: Do scientists have special obligations to society that non-scientists don't have?

Naturally, there are some follow-up questions if you lean towards an affirmative answer to that first question. For example:

  • What specifically are those special obligations?
  • Why do scientists have these particular obligations when non-scientists in their society don't?
  • How strong are those obligations? (In other words, under what conditions would it be ethically permissible for scientists to fall short of doing what the obligations say they should do?)

I think these are important -- and complex -- questions, some of which go to the heart of what's involved in scientists and non-scientists successfully sharing a world. But, it always helps me to hear the voices (and intuitions) of some of the folks besides me who are involved in this sharing-a-world project.

So, for the scientists in the audience, I have some questions I hope you will answer in the comments on this post.*

1. As a scientist, do you have any special duties or obligations to the non-scientists with whom you're sharing a world? If yes, what are they?

2. If you have special duties or obligations, as a scientist, to the rest of society, why do you have them? Where did they come from? (If you don't have special duties or obligations as a scientist, why not?

3. As a scientist, what special duties or obligations (if any) do the non-scientists with whom you're sharing a world have to you?

Who counts as a scientist here? I'm including anyone who has been trained (past the B.A. or B.S. level) in a science, including people who may be currently involved in that training and anyone working in a scientific field (even in the absences of schooling past the B.A. or B.S. level).

That means I count as a scientist here (even though I'm not currently employed as a scientist or otherwise involved in scientific knowledge-building).

If you want to say something about these questions but you're a non-scientist according to this definition, never fear! You are cordially invited to answer a corresponding set of questions, posed to the non-scientists with whom scientists are sharing a world, on my other blog.
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* If you prefer to answer the questions on your own blog, or in some other online space, please drop a link in the comments here, or point me to it via Twitter (@docfreeride) or email (dr.freeride@gmail.com).

37 responses so far

Ponderable: Academic hiring and interviewing.

It has been eleven years since I was last on the market for an academic job, and about six years (if I'm remembering correctly) since I was last on a search committee working to fill a tenure-track position in my department. Among other things, this means that I can consider the recent discussion of "conference interviews" at The Philosophy Smoker with something approaching "distance".

However, as I'm well aware, distance is not the same as objectivity, and anyway objectivity is not the kind of thing you can achieve solo, so I'm going to do a little thinking out loud on the screen in the hopes that you all may chime in.

The nub of the issue is how search committees in philosophy (and in at least some other academic disciplines) use preliminary interviews (typically 30 to 60 minutes in length) to winnow their "best" applicants for a position (as judged on the basis of writing samples, publication records, letters of recommendation, transcripts, teaching evaluations, and other written materials) down to the finalists, the number of which must be small enough that you can reasonably afford to bring them out for campus interviews.

The winnowing down is crucial. From more than a hundred applications, a search committee can usually reach some substantial agreement on maybe twenty candidates whose application materials suggest the right combination of skills (in teaching and research, and maybe also skills that will be helpful in "service" to the department, the institution, and the academic discipline) and "fit" with the needs of the department (as far as teaching, advising students, and also creating a vibrant community in which colleagues have the potential for fruitful collaborations close at hand).

But even if we could afford to fly out 15 or 20 candidates for campus interviews (which typically run a day or two, which means we'd also be paying for food and lodging for the candidates), it would literally break our semester to interview so many. These interviews, after all, include seminars in which the candidates make a research presentation, teaching demonstrations (hosted in one of our existing classes, with actual students in attendance as well as search committee members observing), meetings with individual faculty members, meetings with deans, and a long interview with the whole search committee. This is hard enough to squeeze into your semester with only five candidates.

So, the standard procedure has been to conduct preliminary interviews of shorter duration with the 20 or so candidates who make the first cut at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association. For departments like mine, these interviews happen at a table in a ballroom designated for this purpose. Departments that have a bit more money will rent a suite at the conference hotel and conduct the interviews there, with a bit less background noise.

Job candidates pretty much hate this set up. The conference falls during winter holidays (December 26-30 or so), which means travel is more expensive than it might be some other time of year. Search committees sometimes don't decide who they want to interview at the convention until quite late in the game, which means candidates may not hear that a department would like to interview them until maybe a week before the conference starts (boosting the price of those plane tickets even more, or making you gamble by buying a plane ticket in advance of having any interviews scheduled). Even at conference rates, the hotel rooms are expensive. Occasionally, winter storms create problems for candidates and search committee members try to get to, or to flee from, the conference. Flu season piles on.

Search committee members are not wild about the logistics of traveling to the convention for the interviews, either. However, they feel like the conference interviews provide vital information in working out which of the top 20 or so candidates are the most likely to "fit" what the department wants and needs.

But this impression is precisely what is in question.

It has been pointed out (e.g., by Gilbert Harman, referencing research in social psychology) that interviews of the sort philosophy search committees use to winnow down the field add noise to the decision process rather than introducing reliable information beyond what is available in other application materials. This is not to say that search committees don't believe that their 30 or 60 minutes talking with candidates tells them something useful. But this belief, however strong, is unwarranted. The search committee might as well push itself to identify the top five candidates on the basis of the application materials alone, or, if that's not possible, randomly pick five of the top twenty for campus interviews.*

Of course, search committees seem not to be in a great hurry to abandon conference interviews, at least in philosophy. My (brief) experience on the scientific job market didn't include conference job interviews per se, but I did have preliminary interviews of very much the same nature and duration with some private sector companies and national labs -- which is to say, I don't think it's just philosophers who are making hiring decisions that are at least partially grounded on a type of information we have reason to believe could be misleading.

The question, of course, is what to do about all this.

Search committees could abandon these preliminary interviews altogether. That would surely put more pressure on the written components of the applications, some of which might themselves be misleading in interesting ways. I'm guessing search committees would resist this, since they believe (although mistakenly, if the research is right) that they really are learning something important from them. It's not obvious to me that job candidates would unanimously endorse this either (since some see the interview as a chance to make their case more vividly -- but again, maybe what they're making is pseudo-evidence for their case).

Search committees could work to structure preliminary interviews so that they provide more reliable information (as the research suggests properly structured interviews actually do).** This would require search committee members to learn how properly to conduct such interviews (and how properly to record them for later examination and evaluation). Moreover, it would require that search committee members do something like acknowledging that their instincts about how to conduct free-flowing, open-ended preliminary interviews that are also informative are probably just wrong. This is a task with a difficulty level that's probably right around what it takes to get science faculty to acknowledge that having learned a lot about their field might not be sufficient to be able to teach it effectively, and that science education research might be a useful source of empirically grounded pedagogical insight. In other words, I think it would be really hard.

Search committees could keep conducting preliminary interviews as they always have. Inertia can be powerful, as can the feeling that you really are learning something from the interviews. However, it seems like a search committee would have to take into account the claim that, empirically, interviews are misleading when drawing conclusions on the basis of preliminary interviews. (Of course this is a normative claim -- the search committees ought to take this worry into account -- rather than a claim that mere exposure to a research finding would be enough to remove the search committee's collective powers of self-delusion.)

Or ... search committees could do something else?

What else could they do here? How do those of you in scientific fields handle the role of interviewing in hiring? Specifically, do you take concrete measures to ensure that interviews don't introduce noise into hiring decisions? Or do you feel that the hiring decisions you need to make admit of sufficiently objective information that this just isn't a problem for you?

If you prefer to comment pseudonymously for this discussion, feel free, but one pseudonym to a customer please.

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* For all I know, campus interviews may introduce some of the same kinds of noise to the decision-making process as conference interviews do. However, many include teaching demonstrations with a sample from the actual student population the candidate would be asked to teach if hired, a formal presentation of the candidate's research (including responding to questions about it), and ample opportunity for members of the hiring department to get a sense of whether the candidate is someone with whom one could interact productively or instead someone who might drive one up a wall.

** It is worth noting that some search committees, even in philosophy departments, actually do conduct structured interviews.

19 responses so far

Question for the hivemind: Where do you draw the line in associating with a party that has done something objectionable?

I am thinking my way through a longer discussion of this general question, and I decided it would be useful to get a sense of the intuitions of people who are not me on this matter.

Say there's a person or an organization (or a corporation, which, I've heard, is a person) that has done something you find pretty objectionable.

Say that this person or organization is in a position to contribute something to a goal that you support -- perhaps providing material and/or labor to help build something you think needs to be built, or money to help support a conference you think will serve the good, or speakers to help explain science-y stuff to a general audience.

Would you associate with the party that has done something you find objectionable to the extent that you would accept that contribution of help?

What kind of conditions would you require in accepting the help? For example, would you require that the party not be able to micromanage how their donation is used, who gets to speak at the conference their money is supporting, etc.? Would you insist that they only be allowed to provide help if they also agree to face questions about what you view as their objectionable conduct?

Or, would you rather forgo the help in order not to associate at all with the party that has done something you find objectionable?

Does it matter here whether the party is an organization, some of whose members or organizational units have done something you find objectionable -- but where the help on offer is coming from other members or organizational units -- rather than a person who's done something you find objectionable offering her help?

Feel free to share your thoughts on the ways the precise nature of the "something objectionable" matter to your line-drawing here.

7 responses so far

Marc Hauser makes an excuse for cheating. What he could have done instead.

DrugMonkey notes that Marc Hauser has offered an explanation for faking data (as reported on the Chronicle of Higher Education Percolator blog). His explanation amounts to:

  • being busy with teaching and directing the Mind, Brain & Behavior Program at Harvard
  • being busy serving on lots of fancy editorial boards
  • being busy writing stuff explaining science to an audience of non-scientists
  • being busy working with lots of scientific collaborators
  • being busy running a large research lab with lots of students

DrugMonkey responds that busy is part of the job description, especially if you're rolling in the prestige of a faculty post at Harvard, and of being a recognized leader in your field. I would add that "I was really busy and I made a bad decision (but just this one time)" is an excuse we professors frequently hear from students we catch cheating. It's also one that doesn't work -- we expect our students to do honest work and figure out their time management issues. And, we're expected to work out our own time management issues -- even if it means saying "No" to invitations that are sometimes tempting.

By the way, Marc Hauser didn't actually admit that he faked data, or committed research misconduct of any kind, so much as he "accepts the findings" of the Office of Research Integrity. Moreover, his comments seem to be leaning on that last bullet point (the rigors of supervising a big lab) to deflect what responsibility he does take. From the CHE Percolator:

He also implies that some of the blame may actually belong to others in his lab. Writes Hauser: “I let important details get away from my control, and as head of the lab, I take responsibility for all errors made within the lab, whether or not I was directly involved.”

But that take—the idea that the problems were caused mainly by Hauser’s inattention—doesn’t square with the story told by those in his laboratory. A former research assistant, who was among those who blew the whistle on Hauser, writes in an e-mail that while the report “does a pretty good job of summing up what is known,” it nevertheless “leaves off how hard his co-authors, who were his at-will employees and graduate students, had to fight to get him to agree not to publish the tainted data.”

The former research assistant points out that the report takes into account only the research that was flagged by whistle-blowers. “He betrayed the trust of everyone that worked with him, and especially those of us who were under him and who should have been able to trust him,” the research assistant writes.

So, Hauser is kind of claiming that there were too many students, postdocs, and technicians to supervise properly, and some of them got away from him and falsified methodology and coding and fabricated data. The underlings challenge this account.

In the comments at DrugMonkey's, hypotheses are being floated as to what might have spurred Hauser's bad actions. (A perception that he needed to come up with sexy findings to stay a star in his field is one of the frontrunners.) I'm more inclined to come up with a list of options Hauser might have fruitfully pursued instead of faking or allowing fakery to happen on his watch:

  1. He could have agreed not to send out manuscripts with questionable data when his underlings asked him.
  2. He could have asked to be released from some of his teaching and/or administrative duties at Harvard so he could spend the needed time on his research and on properly mentoring the members of his lab.
  3. He could have taken on fewer students in order to better supervise and mentor the students in his charge.
  4. He could have sought the advice of a colleague or a collaborator on ways he might deal with his workload (or with the temptations that workload might be awakening in him).
  5. He could have communicated to his department, his professional societies, and the funding agencies his considered view that the demands on researchers, and operative definitions of productivity, make it unreasonable hard to do the careful research needed to come up with reliable answers to scientific questions.

And those are just off the top of my head.

I'm guessing that the pressure Marc Hauser felt to get results was real enough. What I'm not buying is the same thing that I don't buy when I get this excuse from student plagiarists: that there was no other choice. Absent a gun to Hauser's head, there surely were other things he could have done.

Feel free to add to the list of other options someone facing Hauser-like temptations could productively pursue instead of cheating.

18 responses so far

Question for the hivemind: What's the fairest way to distribute add codes?

Sep 06 2012 Published by under Academia, Personal, Reader participation

At my fair university, we are in the brief window of time between "drop day" (the date by which students need to drop a course if they don't want it to be listed on their transcript with a W, for "withdraw," next to it) and the "late add" deadline (after which, for all intents and purposes, you can't add a class). This means that I have only a few more days to savor being popular -- or at least, popular with the students still desperately trying to lock in their schedules for the semester and hoping to secure the units and/or general education credit my courses could provide.

Sadly, this popularity mostly manifests itself in messages in my inbox asking that I please give the sender an add code for my class ASAP. Worse, in the small fraction of cases where I have been able to to comply with these requests, I don't always hear back from the student to whom I've given an add code ... and he or she doesn't always use the add code to add my class.

I find that this presents me with a practical problem that is also an ethical problem. Students will frequently email, saying, "In the listing online, it shows that your class still has open seats." From the point of view of official enrollment, the online listing is correct, but in this portion of the term it is also the case that I have usually given out one add code for each theoretically empty seat. If all the add codes I've given out are used, there really aren't any open seats.

But a handful of the people to whom I've given out add codes end up not using them, and not letting me know that they're not going to use them.

I have colleagues who deal with the open-seats problem by giving out excess add codes (i.e., more than could all be used before the class is full). The computerized registration system is set up to close registration once the enrollment cap (which for us is usually the seating capacity of the room) is reached, so there's no chance of having more students than seats and violating fire codes. But, essentially this makes adding the course a matter of being fastest on the draw to use your add code -- which makes things hard for students who need first to get various holds on their registration lifted, a process that requires standing in lines and getting signatures on forms. Also, it may leave a student feeling like she has found a space in a class she needed only to be disappointed that she doesn't really have that space because the other add code recipients got there first.

My goal is to fill all the open seats in my courses with students who need them. I don't want to do this by setting up a bloody battle to use one's add code first. On the other hand, I don't want people who have gotten add codes from me to waste an open seat that someone else could use by not using their add codes.

Is there a good way to make this happen?

10 responses so far

Help high school "nerds" visit the Large Hadron Collider.

Last week, I got a really nice email, and a request, from a reader. She wrote:

I am a high school senior and an avid follower of your blog. I am almost definitely going to pursue science in college - either chemistry, physics, or engineering; I haven't quite decided yet! I am the editor of my school's newspaper, and I frequently write about science topics; I find science journalism interesting and possibly will pursue it as a career. 

I'm writing because this spring, 32 physics students from my high school will hopefully be taking a trip to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. We are extremely excited to make the trip, as it will allow us to glimpse some of the most groundbreaking physics research in the world. Twenty-two of the 32 students going are girls, and we are all involved with the physics department at our school. Women are overwhelmingly outnumbered in the science classes at my school, especially the tougher Advanced Placement classes; thus, taking this trip with a majority of women feels like a triumph.

My correspondent is, this year, the president of her high school's science club, which is affectionately called "BACON: the best All-around Club of Nerds". If you look at the BACON website, you will see that they do some pretty neat stuff. They field a bunch of teams for competitions like the Science Olympiad, Zero Robotics, and the Spirit of Innovation Challenge. And, they launch weather balloons to capture video and still photographs in a near space environment, have a day of launching model rockets and flying model airplanes, and have created a giant tank of ooblek to run across.

Basically, the kind of science-y stuff that might make high school not just tolerable but fun, which I think is a pretty big deal.

Here's where we get to the request.

The planned high school trip bringing the 32 students from Virginia to CERN will be exciting, but expensive. So, as students have come to do for pretty much every field trip, the BACON members are doing some fundraising. Here's their fundraising page, from which we learn:

As we speak, scientists at CERN are conducting groundbreaking research and rewriting the science textbooks for future generations. It is imperative that our students gain an interest and understanding in such endeavors. A two-day tour of CERN will surely aid in our students’ comprehension of particle physics, the study of the mechanisms and interactions that underlie all chemical, biological, and cosmological processes. But more importantly, through exposure to the leading edge of physics research, this trip is intended to excite students about scientific progress and demonstrate the power of experimentation and collaboration outside of the classroom. ...

We need money to cover the cost of travel, lodging, food, and tours. Specifically, the cost breakdown per student is as follows: $1000 for travel; $300 for meals; $300 for lodging; $100 for tours and exhibits. Thirty-two students are scheduled to attend, and without fundraising the total cost is $1700 per student. Unfortunately, not all students can afford this. Any donations are welcome to lower the per-student cost and facilitate this trip for all who want to go!

For donations of various sizes, they are offering perks ranging from thank you cards and pictures of the trip, to signed T-shirts, to something special from the CERN gift shop, to a video to thank you posted on YouTube.

If you want to help but can spare the cash for a monetary donation, you may still be able to help these plucky science students make their CERN trip a reality:

Tell your friends! Share this link with others: indiegogo.com/baconatcern. There are also other ways to help us besides monetary donations. Do you have any objects, gift certificates, coupons, or other items you could donate for a raffle? Do you have an idea for a fundraising event we could host? If you want to get involved, please email us: chsbacon@gmail.com. We are really looking forward to this amazing opportunity, and we appreciate any help you can provide. Thank you!

I know I'm looking forward to living vicariously through this group (since no doubt I'll be grading mountains of papers when they're scheduled to tour the LHC). If you want to pay some science enthusiasm forward to the next generation, here's one way to do it.

Meanwhile, I will inquire about whether the BACONite can share some highlights of their trip (and their preparations for it) here.

Cross posted at Doing Good Science

One response so far

A question for the hivemind: delivering something good for you in a way that might be bad for you.

Despite the dawning of the End Times (at least as far as our semester is concerned), I was able to find time for a chat with a colleague yesterday about a currently amorphous project that is staring to take shape. It's a project that's being spearheaded by other interests, but my colleague has been approached to take on what may be a significant role in it, and he's thinking it over. So, much of our chat had to do with the potential of the project along various trajectories it might take -- lots of "what if" since, as mentioned above, it's pretty amorphous right now.

Anyhow, one of the tentative aims is to improve kids' skills in and engagement with a particular broad subject area where the general perception is that kids need better skills and engagement. The tool to achieve this would be games that the kids would play on their own time (so it wouldn't gobble up valuable class time; I guess you need that to get kids ready for the high-stakes standardized tests and stuff). And, the research driving this strategy has, apparently, focused a lot on the neurophysiology of how kids interact with games to identify the features a game ought to have to get kids addicted to it.

For both of us, this seems like a red flag.

So, the question: Do you think it's a good idea (where "good" equals ethical or some other relevant value; feel free to specify it in your answer) to build kids' skills and/or competencies by means of a delivery device that is explicitly designed to be addictive? (In case it matters, we're talking about children younger than 13 years old.)

Does it matter what the actual skills and/or competencies are?

Does it matter whether the designed-to-be-addictive delivery method might itself be more attractive to the kids (and the adults they eventually become) than the various real-world venues in which the application of these skills and/or competencies are taken to be important?

Lay it on me.

17 responses so far

The Thanksgiving feast and sleepiness: let's crowdsource some data!

A few years ago, we talked about the role turkey consumption might (or might not) play in post-Thanksgiving-feast fatigue. The oft-heard hypothesis is that the tryptophan in turkey gives you the yawns, but there was the suggestion that carbohydrates from starchy and sweet side dishes were an accomplice -- and that eating additional protein might counteract the tryptophan's soporific effects. Also, the amount you eat may be involved in how your body prioritizes consciousness relative to digestion.

It gets complicated pretty fast when we don't eat standardized lab chow.

Also, in passing, let me note that for all its association with tryptophan, turkey doesn't even crack the top 50 in this list of tryptophan-rich foods. (Number one: stellar sea lion kidney.)

Bora has a nice discussion of what tryptophan is up to in your body. Myself, I'm interested in working out observable patterns in Thanksgiving dining-and-yawning experience. Once we know what the patterns are, then we know what we need to explain with a biochemical mechanism.

To this ends, let's conduct some citizen science (and, come Friday, to collect some reports from the field).

Here is a form for data collection (*.doc format).

Ideally, we'd all want to sit down to the same Thanksgiving meal together (having all gotten a good night's sleep the day before, etc., etc.). Sadly, that's not going to happen. However, maybe you can rope those with whom you are dining on Thursday into participating.

Depending on the vibe at your Thanksgiving table, you can either ask the diners to keep track of what kinds of foods they eat, or you can assign your guests particular consumption objectives. Then, before dessert, have everyone do a quick assessment of his or her energy level.

With luck, we'll get data for the following variations:

  • High-tryptophan food (like turkey), high carbohydrate intake. (Prediction: sleepy)
  • High-tryptophan food, low carbohydrate intake. (Prediction: not sleepy)
  • Skip the high-tryptophan food, high carbohydrate intake. (Prediction: sleepy)
  • Skip the high-tryptophan food, low carbohydrate intake. (Prediction: not sleepy)
  • High-tryptophan food, high carbohydrate intake, extra protein. (Prediction: not sleepy)
  • High-tryptophan food, low carbohydrate intake, extra protein. (Prediction: energetic)
  • Skip the high-tryptophan food, high carbohydrate intake, extra protein. (Prediction: not sleepy)
  • Skip the high-tryptophan food, low carbohydrate intake, extra protein. (Prediction: frighteningly energetic)

Of course, if you track participant input a bit more precisely, maybe we'll stumble upon some other factor that turns out to be important, like vitamin A or sage.

If you use my form, you can return your results to me (as a *.doc or scanned into a PDF) by email: dr - dot - freeride - at - gmail - dot - com. I'll compile the responses and we'll see if we can make sense of the data.

See you back here on Friday morning with your results!

2 responses so far

Desperately seeking session chairs for Pacific APA.

Hey you professional philosophers (including graduate students):

I'm on the program committee for the Pacific division of the American Philosophical Association, and we are working hard to finalize our program for the upcoming meeting in Seattle (April 4-7, 2012).

For some reason, there was a larger-than-usual pool of submissions this year, and apparently we were not sufficiently draconian in our refereeing (lesson learned!), because there are still a bunch of sessions where we're trying to find session chairs.

The primary duty of the chair is to introduce the session's speakers (briefly) and enforce time limits.

A caveat: you can't chair if you are already on the program in some other capacity (since there's a rule that one may only appear on the program once).

I am looking for a chair for a metaphysics/philosophy of science session, one for a philosophy of biology session, and one for a biomedical ethics session. If you are interested and able to chair one of these sessions, please email me ASAP! (dr - dot - freeride - at - gmail - dot - com)

If you are a philosophical type who is already planning to attend the Pacific APA this coming April, is not on the program already, and would be willing to chair some other session, email me your information (name, email address, institutional affiliation) and I'll pass it on to our program committee chair so we can call on your services as needed.

Thanks!

One response so far

#scibloggers4students: This is going to get me to avoid procrastination how exactly?

The DonorsChoose Board of Directors rewards your procrastination... but only if you manage to actually make a donation before the end of the drive!

The DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors is excited about the success of the ongoing Science Bloggers for Students challenge. But, between now and the end of the drive Saturday, the Board of Directors thinks we can do more to connect public school classrooms with the resources they need to make education come alive. So, to encourage you to give -- especially of you've been putting it off or letting someone else do it -- the Board of Directors is matching all donations to Science Bloggers for Students placed between the first moment of Thursday October 20th and the last moment of Saturday, October 22nd (midnight to midnight, Eastern time).
 
Here's how the match works:

  • At the end of the three day period, all dollars donated will be totaled, and the Board of Directors will match those dollars. If the donors put up $100, the Board of Directors puts up $100. If the donors put up $10,000, the Board of Directors puts up $10,000. For every dollar you give, you are soaking the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors for a dollar! Maybe that kind of power to double your impact will help you find a few spare dollars to give.
  • The number of dollars given by the Board of Directors will be divided by the number of people who donated, and gift codes will be issued to every donor (via e-mail) for an equal share of the matching dollars. So, if 100 people donate a total of $10,000, each donor will receive a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift code.
  • Individuals will, in turn, have the chance to apply the funds to whatever classroom project they choose.

This is a great opportunity to spend someone else's money to help kids learn about electricity, or to help a biology classroom get microscopes, or to fund a field trip to a science museum (all projects you can support through my giving page) -- or to choose some other classroom project that is dear to your heart and that needs funding.
This is also a good time to show the world that Scientopia blog readers love science so much that they want to help public school classrooms get the materials and experiences in place so students can find their love of science, too. The Scientopia leaderboard is holding steady on the challenge motherboard in the number two slot, ahead of Discover Blogs and behind Freethought Blogs. With the match now in place, donations in any amount, even $10, or $5, or $1, will make a difference while giving those freethinkers something to think about.

(And remember, if you make a donation in any amount to my challenge giving page, you get to assign me a topic for a blog post. You know you want to ...)

2 responses so far

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