Iowa professor again poised to defend “intelligent design”

Via From Right 2 Left, I see that U of Iowa physics professor. Fred Skiff, will be speaking on intelligent design next week:

At the next “Finding God at Iowa” Lunch Forum, Fred Skiff, University of Iowa professor of physics and astronomy, will speak on the theory of intelligent design. The forum will be held from noon to 1 p.m. March 2, in the Ohio State Room (Room 343) on the third floor of the Iowa Memorial Union.

Skiff will offer “A ‘Fireside Chat’ on Intelligent Design.” He will discuss some of the questions underlying the debate over intelligent design in nature, such as: What are the appropriate assumptions, methods, and limits of science? Can the intelligent design argument be properly made within the realm of science?

Why am I so dismayed (well, besides the obvious)? More after the jump.
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Evolution (and Professor Steve Steve) at AAAS

As I mentioned, I spent the latter part of last week and the weekend in San Francisco at the annual AAAS meeting. Unlike most meetings I attend, this one wasn’t a research-heavy meeting, so instead I went to hear more about science education (and of course, how to improve it), as well as to find out the latest in anti-science circles from those on the front lines. My old friend Professor Steve Steve tagged along as well, meeting new friends and old and discussing evolution and challenges to its teaching. Much more after the jump.
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While all the HIV “dissidents” are milling around….

…I’m sure they’ll be happy to see that Gambia’s president is curing AIDS:

From the pockets of his billowing white robe, Gambia’s president pulls out a plastic container, closes his eyes in prayer and rubs a green herbal paste onto the rib cage of the patient — a concoction he claims is a cure for AIDS.

He then orders the thin man to swallow a bitter yellow drink, followed by two bananas.

“Whatever you do, there are bound to be skeptics, but I can tell you my method is foolproof,” President Yahya Jammeh told an Associated Press reporter, surrounded by bodyguards in his presidential compound. “Mine is not an argument, mine is a proof. It’s a declaration. I can cure AIDS and I will.”

Foolproof, y’hear? Who needs research when we have an assurance like that?

More after the jump…
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Irony

So, I’m back from AAAS, and starting to catch up on everything. The conference flew by, and I still have a few posts in the wings on the evolution symposium that took place on Friday, as well as some other tidbits from sessions I attended. Overall, I thought the conference was very good from a networking perspective. In addition to those I already mentioned (Janet, John, and Jeremy), I also ran into Chris Mooney and Ewen Callaway at a reception Saturday night, and met up with Eugenie Scott and several other NCSE folks during various sessions (more on that in the aforemetioned upcoming post). However, I found a lot of the sessions I attended to be somewhat repetitive, and I’m not coming home with that “wow, my brain is stuffed with so many ideas I can’t wait to get them all down on paper” feeling that I usually have after conferences. Still, I knew that AAAS wasn’t a research-heavy conference, so I suppose it was a good experience for what it was–discussing science in general.

However, along the lines of the “networking” idea, I was browsing the program Friday night and noticed a networking breakfast that looked interesting, to be held Saturday morning: “women and minorities in science.” Great, right up my alley, I thought.

I read the next line.

“Invitation only.”

So, maybe next year I’ll have done enough networking to snag an invitation to the networking breakfast…

Live from San Francisco

So, I’m here in San Francisco at AAAS, and have had the pleasure of hanging out with Janet (who I met previously), John, and Jeremy (who I’d not). I’ll hopefully have a post up tomorrow on the session I just got out of, discussing evolution education and grassroots activism. It’s been a lot of fun so far (and educational, of course!)

There’s no crying in academia!

Over at Am I a woman scientist? I ran across this post discussing crying in the workplace. I’d never given much consideration to the issue previously, but there are several thought-provoking posts and articles on the topic.

First, let me take a step back to a post Am I a woman scientist? linked to, here at A Natural Scientist musing about crying as a sign of weakness in women. From there, a link goes back to this Chronicle story describing the aftermath of a miscarriage, and the author’s inability to discuss it with anyone at work for fear of breaking down and crying.

Some interesting themes emerged from these posts. First, and probably fairly obvious, is the fear of crying in front of colleagues (and particularly male colleagues), for fear of being perceived as weak or unprofessional:
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