Code for life

Sales-fest or science?

Grant Jacobs Oct 14, 2009

Like many biologists and medical professionals, I'm disturbed by the plainly wrong and misleading nature of anti-vaccine and natural remedy claims I've seen. An advertised "Natural Health Expo" to be held this weekend in New Zealand has caused me to revisit how an earlier blog article on Crank ’scientific’ conferences suggested one simple test for … Read More

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TV psychics: not in the real world, please

Grant Jacobs Oct 11, 2009

Before getting back to science pieces, I'd like to join fellow sciblings Petter Griffith and Mike Kilpatrick in expressing disappointment over TVNZ's encouragement of the services of their "TV psychic" for the family of missing toddler Aisling Symes. Entertainment often plays on fantasies, asking viewers to temporarily accept some clearly fictional plot devices. There's … Read More

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

Grant Jacobs Oct 11, 2009

Internationally there has been much fuss about Barack Obama being awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Before passing your judgement, though, it may help to remember that the award committee aren't dumb and that it might be useful to first read what the Peace Prize is awarded for to try understand their thinking. My reading of … Read More

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Peter Lawrence's Kafka tale of research grant funding

Grant Jacobs Sep 30, 2009

Recently a very readable perspective article Real Lives and White Lies in the Funding of Scientific Research was published in the scientific journal, PLoS Biology (PLoS = Public Library of Science), by senior scientist Peter Lawrence FRS. (I mean senior in the sense of achievements, notwithstanding that his first publication was in 1965.) Peter's concern … Read More

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Major earthquake in Samoa, 8.3

Grant Jacobs Sep 30, 2009

Quick post: There has been an 8.3 earthquake near Samoa. See: http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-pacific/2916140/Deaths-after-8-3-quake-tsunami-hit-Samoa Best wishes to anyone in Samoa, or with family or friends there. Read More

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Scientists can’t write?

Grant Jacobs Sep 30, 2009

Currently I'm reading sections of Investigating science communication in the information age: implications for public engagement and popular media. In chapter 4.1, Making science newsworthy: exploring the conventions of science journalism, Stuart Allan cites journalist W. T. Stead who wrote in 1906 (see page  152): In editing a newspaper, never employ an expert to write a popular article on his own subject, better … Read More

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Introducing Code for Life

Grant Jacobs Sep 24, 2009

Welcome to Code for Life. I hope you get something out of my modest efforts to educate and entertain. The material below can also be found in the ’About’ page. I’m popping it in here by way of introduction. What’s with the name of the blog? Code4Life was a name I considered for my consultancy,  … Read More

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