The Importance of Not Being a Dick

Darcy Cowan Dec 02, 2014

Several years ago Phil Plait gave a talk at TAM that has become known as the “Don’t be a Dick” speech. There he was mainly talking about online skepticism and how to tailor our message so that it is effective rather than off-putting. In that talk the goal was better evangelising (for lack … Read More

The Anti-Vax Group Formerly Known as AVN

Darcy Cowan Mar 11, 2014

Those in the loop may already know that the long awaited name change for the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), the anti-vaccine mouth piece of Meryl Dorey, ordered in late 2012 has recently occurred. The new moniker for the group is Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network, I assume the hyphenation is present so that the group might reasonably continue [&hellip … Read More

Elves Stop Construction

Darcy Cowan Dec 24, 2013

A couple of years ago I wrote a post about Taniwha and whether their alleged presence should constitute a stop sign for construction projects. At the time I was responding to an article which proposed just that on the grounds that the Taniwha claims could represent indigenous knowledge of the area relevant to construction. I [&hellip … Read More

Vaccines Vs Pneumonia

Darcy Cowan Jul 29, 2013

One of the linchpins of the anti-vaccine movement is the attempt to muddy the issue with regard to vaccine efficacy. From this point various others follow; if vaccines are ineffective then large risks need not be shown – any risk at all makes being vaccinated an unwise choice. If vaccines do not perform their role [&hellip … Read More

The Scientific Method On TV

Darcy Cowan Apr 29, 2013

Last week Michael Edmonds asked “Which TV Show Best Demonstrates the Scientific Method?” Various shows where suggested such as CSI and NCIS. Bones made an appearance in the comments as one show that exhibits a fair amount of pseudoscience along with it’s “real” science. House was praised for it’s attention to hypothesis generation and testing. [&hellip … Read More

Science Literacy Test Initial Follow-up

Darcy Cowan Jan 23, 2013

Yesterday’s post about the Science Literacy test has gotten some good responses. Thought I’d put up a couple of initial thoughts/feed-back on the testing: First off it’s becoming clear that some of the questions are ambiguously worded. This is especially obvious in the results for questions 12 and 14. Question 12, looking at categorizing sources, [&hellip … Read More

Test your Science Literacy Skills

Darcy Cowan Jan 22, 2013

Last week an interesting paper was published outlining the development of a test designed to evaluate science literacy. The basic idea of the test is to examine a number of different skills that are involved in evaluating scientific claims and facts. I liked this idea so much I decided to put together an online version [&hellip … Read More