02.12.2016

What We're Reading

This week in "What We're Reading", a special treat—NCSE's very own original, peer-reviewed article in Science magazine. Also, depression, anxiety, dinosaur sex, and the latest on "what did fossil fuel companies know, and when did they know it?" Enjoy!

  • NCSE inside! Climate Confusion Among U.S. Teachers, Science, February 13, 2016 — Don’t miss this week’s Education Forum in Science magazine—it’s by Eric Plutzer, Lee Hannah, and NCSE’s Josh Rosenau, Minda Berbeco, me, and former NCSE staffer, Mark McCaffrey. The article gives an overview of the results of the first ever national representative survey asking teachers what and how they are teaching about climate change. The survey was conceived and funded by NCSE, and executed in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University. Take-home message: lots of teachers are covering climate change (yay!), but the concerted effort to cast doubt on the science has had an impact on classrooms (boo!). The great news is that teachers expressed a lot of enthusiasm for learning more about climate change. The full article is here. You can read additional coverage of the survey in all these places (and more): The New York Times, New Scientist (by Michael Mann), Inside Climate News, Newsweek, New Scientist, Mother Jones, Guardian, Time, Washington Post, Scientific American, Ars Technica, Pacific Standard, Ottawa Sun, International and Business Times.
  • Evolution and Angst: Charles Darwin Was a Worrier, Scientific American, February 11, 2016 — Just in time for Darwin Day, Claudia Kalb describes the great naturalist's anxiety and discusses the varying explanations offered for it. The article is excerpted from Kalb's Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities (2016).
  • The Link Between Neanderthal DNA and Depression Risk, The Atlantic, February 11, 2016 — Does it matter how closely you're related to Neanderthals? A new study described here by Ed Yong suggests that it might: "It seems Neanderthal DNA has an effect on systems that regulate our moods or behaviors."
  • An Evolutionary Journey, BioLogos, February 10, 2016 — Robert C. Bishop, a professor of physics and philosophy at the evangelical Wheaton College, describes how he was led away from young-earth creationism by discovering the proclivity of its proponents for using misleading quotations from scientists.
  • Romancing the Raptor, Extinct: The Philosophy of Palaeontology Blog, February 8, 2016 — Adrian Currie offers a serious and completely non-prurient call for paleontologists to pay more attention to dinosaur sex: "I want to know how dinosaurs bonked, and with what equipment. I want to know positions, mechanics—the length and intensity of climaxes—the ins-and-outs of getting busy in the Mesozoic."
  • Idaho Legislature rejects new science standards, KPIV, February 9, 2016 — Idaho lawmakers rejected new K-12 science standards because, among other reasons, the standards include global warming and evolution.
  • Oil Industry Group's Own Report Shows Early Knowledge of Climate Impacts, InsideClimate News, February 5, 2016  — An American Petroleum Institute-commissioned report from 1982 indicates that the oil industry learned of the threat posted by climate change far earlier than they say they did.