Congress just allocated $1.6 billion to build 33 miles of new barriers around the refuge in the Rio Grande Valley. These wall sections — a compromise to assuage President Trump, who wants a wall across the entire border — are expected to disrupt several other protected parcels of land home to rare animals, plants, and birds, including the National Butterfly Center, a state park, and several other tracts of land in the federal wildlife refuge system.

Want to know more about how the border wall will impact butterflies? Read about it here.

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Want to crowdfund your science? New study hints at who is successful

A study on how to best fund your studies. Very meta.

But seriously, as most governmental forms of funding are drying up, scientist are by necessity trying to figure out how to fund their research. And crowd funding has become an increasingly interesting option.

So, are you/your study well suited for this funding avenue? Read about it herecrowdfunding.jpg!

 

How Not To Talk About Race And Genetics

“In his newly published book Who We Are and How We Got Here, geneticist David Reich engages with the complex and often fraught intersections of genetics with our understandings of human differences — most prominently, race.

He admirably challenges misrepresentations about race and genetics made by the likes of former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade and Nobel Laureate James Watson. As an eminent scientist, Reich clearly has experience with the genetics side of this relationship. But his skillfulness with ancient and contemporary DNA should not be confused with a mastery of the cultural, political, and biological meanings of human groups.

As a group of 67 scholars from disciplines ranging across the natural sciences, medical and population health sciences, social sciences, law, and humanities, we would like to make it clear that Reich’s understanding of “race” — most recently in a Times column warning that “it is simply no longer possible to ignore average genetic differences among ‘races’” — is seriously flawed.”

Read about it here.

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“Fits neatly inside a lizard’s cloaca”: scientists review products on Amazon

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Ziploc bags can be used as snail carriers. Food containers make good little bee homes. A salad spinner makes a good PCR centrifuge. Any scientist who’s ever done field work knows that everyday household projects can be game changers.

And now, scientists are reviewing these products on Amazon.

Read about them here!

 

Science in the Age of Trump

Sometimes, when referring to the current administration, people note “it’s not as bad as we thought it would be”.

However, you know who’s NOT saying that. Scientists. Nature recently wrote in an article:

“After 12 months in office, Drumpf’s impact on science can be neatly divided into two categories: bad things that people expected, and bad things that they didn’t.”

TL;DR:

First category:

  • The US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement
  • Regulatory rollback across government (environmental agencies in particular)
  • The now record-breaking failure to appoint a science adviser
  • Cut off funds to organizations abroad that promote public health but mention abortion
  • Weakened restrictions under the Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Censored the use by government agencies of phrases such as “evidence-based” and “climate change”
  • Advisory groups, including one on HIV/Aids, have been disbanded
  • Scientists with Environmental Protection Agency grants have been banned from serving on the agency’s advisory boa

Want to know more? Read about it here!

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E.P.A. Officials, Disheartened by Agency’s Direction, Are Leaving in Droves

I think the biggest impact of the Trump administrations attack on science, is that scientists don’t feel welcome anymore.

Which will have PROFOUND effects on our economic growth and how we are perceived as a world leader. PROFOUND.

And one common misconception I hear is that scientists think/support an idea because they are being paid to. Spoiler alert: scientist don’t get paid much in the best of times. Federal scientist almost never get paid enough. Ever.

So it’s disheartening to hear that those who are working tirelessly as civil servants are leaving the agencies in droves. Read about it here.

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Sundays at the Altar of Science

I hate the title of this article. I really do. Science is not a religion, as it does not necessitate a leap of faith, and is based in empirical evidence.

But, it is an interesting article over at the New York times about how they found science and how that changed their views on the world.

Worth reading here!

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