Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

“Bigoted is a huge word that gets thrown around”

Jun 30th, 2015 3:38 pm | By

Have the sick-basin handy for this one.

You’re not alone. [voice choked with tears] You’re not alone.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6PPk2NOQXsRead the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Call him a cynic

Jun 30th, 2015 3:28 pm | By

One of those think-pieces that just don’t need to be written…by Charles White, Deputy Editor of The Tab Durham.

Last week saw a landmark moment as LGBT and straight people celebrated equal marriage in America and another year of Pride –– just by changing profile pictures on Facebook.

You must have seen the rainbow photos which started appearing on your newsfeed from Saturday. If you’re straight you can add the colours to your profile and everyone will know you’re down with Pride.

Call me a cynic, but how long do you really think these pictures will stay up? In a few days, they’re bound to disappear –– one by one, Rainbow filters will be replaced by Instagram Valencia

Read the rest

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Illustrious company

Jun 30th, 2015 11:44 am | By

Even someone who writes for the Telegraph thinks it’s bad and revealing that people are saying Tim Hunt did nothing wrong. Cathy Newman is a presenter for Channel 4 News and she thinks the “nothing wrong” claim is full of wrong.

[A] week after the pro-Hunt bandwagon really started to gather speed, broadcaster and writer Jonathan Dimbleby has leapt aboard and resigned his honorary fellowship at University College London in protest at its treatment of the Nobel prize-winning scientist.

He’s in illustrious company. The mayor of London Boris Johnson and fellow scientist Richard Dawkins have already publicly accused Sir Tim’s critics of a gross over-reaction.

So have Brian Cox and Brendan O’Neill.

Notice something? They’re all pale men – they’re … Read the rest

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Patients can be tricked into feeling better when they’re actually not

Jun 30th, 2015 10:18 am | By

Originally a comment by latsot on Ask the rocks.

The placebo effect is real, no disputing that. It’s weird, it’s complicated and it’s wonderful. There’s no doubt that it’s helpful, sometimes.

But let’s be clear, it ain’t gonna cure your broken leg, your cancer or even that ache in your knee that everyone older than 40 gets on a Monday morning that makes them think about phoning in sick. That might just be me.

And let’s be doubly clear: many if not most of the advocates of things that are really placebos are trying to persuade vulnerable people that whatever horrible thing they are desperate to have cured can be cured by snakewater. Lots of people die because of … Read the rest

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Jonathan Dimbleby

Jun 30th, 2015 9:14 am | By

Energizer bunny still going.

Jonathan Dimbleby has resigned from his honorary fellowship at University College London in protest at its treatment of biologist Sir Tim Hunt after he made controversial remarks about women in science.

The broadcaster and writer accused the college of a “disgraceful” rush to judgment in forcing the Nobel prize-winning scientist to quit his honorary fellowship at UCL and urged other fellows to help change the college’s mind.

Dimbleby said: “The college has a long and honourable tradition of defending free speech, however objectionable it may be. Sir Tim made a very poor joke and it quite rightly backfired. He then apologised for that,” he told the Times.

The principle of free speech does not mean … Read the rest

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From an infinite supply

Jun 29th, 2015 4:53 pm | By

Emily Willingham on those misappropriated metaphors for being sharply criticized:

How many Nobel laureates does it take to screw up a position? By my current count, nine. I’m sure someone, somewhere, has already observed the rich irony of using the collective privilege and power of the Nobel to try to shut up the less-powerful by claiming that they’re going to chill freedom of expression. If not, consider that observed.

The Tim Hunt story is redux redux, as though every time a stone is shifted from the power structure, another one simply takes its place from an infinite supply of the components of existing power.

Well – there’s a sentence I wish I’d written.

Just as nine Nobel laureates are

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The World Future Forum is the big annual event of the Secular Policy Institute

Jun 29th, 2015 4:03 pm | By

Edwina Rogers is emailing people to get them worked up about a thing they can go to. (Tim Hunt will be there, doing standup.) (I kid, I kid.)

Hi [your name here]

You’re invited to the most VIP political gathering in secular history.
The World Future Forum comes October 25-26 to DC.
It’s run by the Secular Policy Institute, the world’s biggest secular coalition and world’s biggest secular think tank.
Network with members of US Congress, big donors, international secular leaders, and top thinkers like emcee Lawrence Krauss, bestselling author and physicist, and keynote Gregory Copley, former US National Security Advisor.
Tickets will sell out quickly! Get yours at https://secularpolicyinstitute.net/world-future-forum-2015/.
-Edwina

It’s the world’s biggest biggest biggest biggest biggest. Go … Read the rest

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Ask the rocks

Jun 29th, 2015 3:16 pm | By

Let’s have some refreshment – wisdom from a witch.

[screams, cries of “witch hunt! witch hunt!”]

No no no no, not that kind, and not the kind who object to sexism; the other kind.

While a big part of magic is claiming the parts of ourselves that are powerful, for me it’s also about discovering a solid set of tools to heal myself and my community. So however you identify on the witchy spectrum, here are five simple witchy practices that anyone can do to take care of themselves, and that most of us should be doing more often.

Eye of newt, toe of frog? No, casting circles of protection.

Each and every one of us has the right

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Piled higher and deeper

Jun 29th, 2015 12:16 pm | By

Louise Mensch (the Sun columnist and failed Tory MP) has been harassing people on Twitter for hours with grandiose claims about a story about to appear that would PROVE Tim Hunt really was joking. She tweeted this implausible promise at Deborah Blum and Connie St Louis and David Colquhoun among others – addressing DC as ‘Professor’ [in scare quotes], which is staggeringly rude even for the staggeringly rude Louise Mensch. She told all these people they would have to resign once the story appeared.

Then the promised story appeared. It’s in the Sun, and it’s ludicrous.

The headline and subhead:

‘Sexist’ Sir Tim WAS joking, photo shows
Picture could prove top scientist was wrongly hounded out of his job

Read the rest

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Worries about if she can manage well

Jun 29th, 2015 11:10 am | By

Sexism? What sexism?

Via Twitter:

Daniel Singleton ‏@dasingleton Jun 6
Reviewer to my daughter-in-law: You have kids, give up on silly pursuit of science. #fuckthissexistshit

Strong point
-The stay will significantly benefit both the candidate and the host unit.

Weak point
-Worries about if she can manage well between the work and the family.

I don’t see any sexism, do you see any sexism??… Read the rest

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Just that little drop

Jun 29th, 2015 9:50 am | By

Uta Frith FRS has an excellent, hope-restoring article on the Royal Society’s science policy blog In Verba.

Little did I know that, having just started as chair of our new Diversity Committee, that gender bias would suddenly come into the spotlight of public opinion. This followed the unacceptable remarks at a public event attributed to one of our most distinguished Fellows. Sir Tim Hunt was baffled by the effect of his words on others, and I admit that I too was baffled, but for very different reasons.

His remarks at first seemed to me just a drop in the bucket of millions of similar ones made every day about women in the workplace, often by decent men who

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This unfortunate incident must not be portrayed as a private story told as a joke

Jun 28th, 2015 5:38 pm | By

Also of interest, the letter that the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations sent to Tim Hunt asking him to apologize for being so obnoxious at the lunch they hosted.

Dear Sir Tim Hunt,
We, the members of the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and
Technology Associations (KOFWST), the sponsoring organization of the WCSJ
luncheon on June 8, 2015, decided to request your official acknowledgement
and apology for the remarks made at the luncheon. Attached, please find,
our call for apology. We hope to get your response within 24 hours. Your
prompt and sincere apology is the least we can ask for any future
collaboration with Korean scientists.
Yours sincerely,
Hee Young Paik, President

KOFWST call for apology

Read the rest

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Harvard must be slipping

Jun 28th, 2015 5:18 pm | By

There’s a conservative blog called Legal Insurrection. I’d vaguely heard of it before, but that’s all. I saw that it had a post about Connie St Louis, so I took a look. I read the first few sentences, and was amazed. I skipped down to the comments and was amazed more. I googled Legal Insurrection and found the handy Wikipedia digest in the left margin:

William A. Jacobson
Professor
William A. Jacobson is an American lawyer, professor, and conservative blogger. Jacobson is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School.
Education: Hamilton College, Harvard Law School

Oh yes? Well then you would think he would be able to get the most basic factsRead the rest

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Freedom lost

Jun 28th, 2015 4:57 pm | By

Tarek Fatah tweeted the other day:

Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah Jun 25
Hijabi female students at Cairo University reflects the rise of Islamism.

1959: None
1978: None
1995: 35%
2004: 90%

Depressing.… Read the rest

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The Nobel isn’t all that

Jun 28th, 2015 4:38 pm | By

Matthew Francis at Forbes says Nobel prizes aren’t so hot.

They’re a huge status symbol, but that doesn’t mean they’re the last word on what’s the best science.

[P]eople listen to Nobel laureates when they speak, even when they are out of their areas of expertise. Sometimes the prize seems to go to the winners’ heads so much that they seem to lose it entirely. William Shockley, a co-discoverer of the transistor, and James Watson, who won the Nobel for discovering the structure of DNA, both used their reputations to promote very racist ideas. Most recently, Tim Hunt said some sexist and insulting things in front of a group of female Korean scientists — who had invited

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Everybody get together

Jun 28th, 2015 3:13 pm | By

Some pleasing rainbow Facebook profile pics.

Bono and Ensaf

Asif Mohiuddin

Salman Rushdie

Amanda Knief

Kaveh Mousavi

Kate Smurthwaite

Barry Duke

Elham Manea

The White House

MeRead the rest

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Guest post: Humanism and the New Pessimism

Jun 28th, 2015 12:27 pm | By

Guest post by Bill Cooke, author and International Director for the Center for Inquiry.

Humanism and the New Pessimism

What should humanism stand for in the decades to come? Are the assumptions and values of humanism easily transferable to these new conditions? Many would see even posing such a question as laughable. Is not humanism as a voice of reason, progress and optimism, thoroughly discredited in an age where such things ring hollow?

It’s true that many of the promises of the twentieth century have proved to be illusory. And even when they have been realized, only a relatively few have benefitted. Looking to the future, even if we take the more alarmist forecasts with a pinch of salt, the … Read the rest

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Squirrel!

Jun 28th, 2015 11:38 am | By

And now Damian Thompson at the Spectator blog joins the fun and of course it’s the usual tangle of inaccuracies and hyperbole.

Connie St Louis, director of City University’s Science Journalism MA, is the woman who brought Sir Tim Hunt’s career crashing down in flames by tweeting out allegedly sexist remarks that the Nobel Prize winner made at a conference in Seoul.

She didn’t bring Hunt’s career crashing down in flames – his career is not down, let alone in flames. His research is still his research; he still has his Nobel; he’s still a Fellow of the Royal Society. Some of the pro bono work he was doing is closed off, but that is far from having his … Read the rest

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Church fires in the South

Jun 28th, 2015 11:07 am | By

The SPLC reports:

In what may not be a coincidence, a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week.

Arsonists started at least three of the fires, while other causes are being examined in the other fires, investigators say.

The series of fires – some of them suspicious and possible hate crimes — came in the week following a murderous rampage by a white supremacist who shot and killed nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

The most recent fires occurred early today at the Glover Grover Baptist Church, in Warrenville, S.C., and at the Greater Miracle Apostolic Holiness Church in Tallahassee,

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“Nothing wrong with witty satire”

Jun 28th, 2015 10:35 am | By

The Tim Hunt War continues. It could have been over in 24 hours, but now it’s become the site where the issue of sexism in STEM is getting a thorough airing, so I’m just going to keep on reporting on it.

Dawkins is still digging that hole deeper and deeper.

1.2 million followers on Twitter, remember. Gets his letters published in the Times. Large megaphone; conspicuous platform. Influencer.

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 8 hours ago
Am I naive to be disconcerted by a lack of kindness, of empathy, on Twitter? There’s so much unforgiving, merciless, even cruel condemnation

Isn’t it interesting that he’s saying that now? After responding to a tweet that called Tim Hunt “a shitty person”? Isn’t it interesting … Read the rest

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