Ken Perrott

Dr Ken Perrott trained as a chemist and his research background is in surface chemistry, soil science and fertiliser chemistry. After working in the DSIR (Chemistry Division and Soil Bureau), MAF, MAFTech and AgResearch he is now retired. Ken enjoys discussion of the wider social and philosophical issue surrounding science. Unfortunately these issues are often misrepresented in our society and he believe scientists have a responsibility to counter unscientific thinking and movements. This is one of the reasons Ken got into blogging, starting up Open Parachute in the middle of 2007.

Are religious scientists worried about their brethren? - Open Parachute

Mar 29, 2010

There were two public statements on science recently which seem to have disappeared into a vacuum. They were the ‘Public Statement Concerning Science and Christian Faith’ by New Zealand Religious Scientists and ‘A message to the Christian communities of New Zealand from scientists in their midst.’ I am not interested in the first [...]

The climate change denial industry - Open Parachute

Mar 26, 2010

Book review: The climate denial industry and climate science – a brief history of attacks on climate science, climate scientists and the IPCC by Cindy Baxter Publisher: Greenpeace International (24 March, 2010) Number of pages: 25 Publishers description: This report describes 20 years of organised attacks on climate science, scientists and the IPCC. It sets out [...]

Can science answer moral questions? - Open Parachute

Mar 25, 2010

Here’s a great TED talk by Sam Harris. He is well known for his best selling books The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and its follow-up Letter to a Christian Nation. But he has recently been researching the neuroscience of morality and ethics. Sam has a a degree in [...]

Periodic Table of of science blogs - Open Parachute

Mar 23, 2010

David Bradley of Sciencebase has put together an interesting Periodic Table of science bloggers. It was complied on a “first come, first served” basis and is, of course, restricted in numbers (currently 103). But a useful resource for anyone interested in browsing through science blogs they may not be familiar with. There’s even a couple of [...]

Creationism, climate change and scientific denialism - Open Parachute

Mar 22, 2010

Strange how one keeps coming across familiar people. Last week I was shocked to read Andrew Bolt’s article on the Global Atheist Convention (see Speakers true love of hatred). He wasn’t there and those of us that were recognised his article as full of distortions, misinformation and lies. Then I realised he is one [...]

Open Letter from U.S. Scientists on the IPCC - Open Parachute

Mar 19, 2010

Recently an Open Letter was sent by US scientists to federal agencies expressing concern about the current “climategate” hysteria and attitudes towards the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The over 250 signatories included both IPCC and non-IPCC authors and professionals from related disciplines including physical, biological and social scientists (see Open Letter from [...]

Are science and religion compatible? - Open Parachute

Mar 17, 2010

“Science and Religion” seems to be a popular topic for debate on the internet these days. Even in New Zealand Richard Dawkins‘ recent visit encouraged 14 religious scientists, historians and theologians to produce their own statement on the subject (see ‘Public Statement Concerning Science and Christian Faith’ by New Zealand Religious Scientists). That particular statement seems [...]

Swiftboating science - Open Parachute

Mar 15, 2010

“Swiftboating” is a new term for me – and for science, I guess. But it is part of US political jargon. To quote Wikipedia: “Swiftboating . .  is used as a strong pejorative description of some kind of attack that the speaker considers unfair or untrue—for example, an ad hominem attack or a smear campaign. The term comes [...]

Chris Mooney interviews Michael Mann on ’climategate’ - Open Parachute

Mar 12, 2010

This is an interesting interview (download MP3). Michael Mann has been vilified by climate change deniers. His work on the so-called “hockey stick” graph  is still being misrepresented despite being validated by the US National research council and other researchers. He’s a bit of a lone voice at the moment but really worth listening to. Point [...]

Science bloggers talk teaching - Open Parachute

Mar 11, 2010

Three of SciBlogs NZ bloggers are collaborating on a new blog directed at teaching. I wish them well – it’s an important area. Science bloggers in New Zealand have a much higher profile since the SciBlogs platform was launched last October. I am aware of a large number of teaching blogs out there, some independent, others [...]