Proofiness Revisited

As the 2012 political campaign heats up, statistical data is being massaged, distorted, and misapplied–unfortunately as has become the norm. Thus it seems like the right time to reprise an earlier blog entry in which I reviewed Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife (Viking, 2010, $25.95, 304 pages) Reviewed by Dr. … Read more

Richard Muller shows what it means to be a climate change skeptic

We interrupt your weekend with MAJOR SCIENCE/POLITICAL NEWS. As the headline of this ThinkProgress blog entry notes, this is indeed a political bombshell. MacArthur “genius” grantee Richard Muller, a highly respected physicist and self-declared climate change skeptic has changed his mind in precisely the way a scientist should: He examined the evidence. As far as … Read more

Review of The Violinist’s Thumb and Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius as Written by Our Genetic Code

The Violinist’s Thumb and Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean (Little, Brown, 416 pages, $25.99, July, 2012) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz See other reviews archived at the Science Shelf Note: This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print … Read more

Let’s talk about atmospheric carbon

Since a fellow science blogger has closed her post “Why can’t we talk about atmospheric carbon?” to comments, and has not accepted my most recent critical comment to her previous blog entry “Ancient carbon dioxide: Surprisingly Irrelevant?”, I have decided to continue the discussion here. She is welcome to argue her case without concern that … Read more

Weekend Fun at SciFact Central

Two months ago, I announced the beginning of a Facebook page to promote interest in science through Fun Facts. I call it SciFact Central. That page has evolved so that Monday is Science Joke and Riddle day, Tuesday is Space and Astronomy Day, and Friday is Person of Science and Technology Day. This weekend, I’ve … Read more

Review of Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample

As I type this, the physics world is anticipating a great announcement from the Large Hadron Collider that the data analysis is at least very suggestive that the elusive Higgs Boson has been seen. Perhaps the researchers will even declare a discovery. If you want to understand the reason for the excitement, I recommend reading … Read more

Fun with Science Facebook Page

My new Facebook page SciFact Central is beginning to attract a following of adults and teens who enjoy “Fun Facts.” It is still a work in progress, though I have begun to develop a routine. Every Friday is People of Science and Technology Day. Every Monday has been Space and Astronomy Day, but I will … Read more

More about Hidden Biases and Fukushima

About six weeks ago, I posted a blog entry called Subtle and not so subtle biases shape assessment of Fukushima. It led to some interesting and intelligent discussion about whether nuclear energy should be part of the future worldwide energy mix. I wrote that entry as a reaction to critical reviews that described my new … Read more