Friday, August 22, 2014

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Lee Grenci is mad as hell about the use of “polar vortex” in the media.

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured

He’s not taking it anymore. https://www.e-education.psu.edu/worldofweather/node/2098

Tornadoes and the “Clash of the Air Masses”

November 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri

Ever seen media reports talk about how tornadoes form in the central United States? It always seems to start with warm air from the south meeting cold air from the north. Need some examples? How about these? USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/08/oklahoma-tornadoes-ef5-moore/2401885/ The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/tornado-disaster-clash-of-air-masses-in-tornado-alley-1091490.html KTBC Fox News, Austin, Texas: http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/21871999/weather-facts-tornado-rotation The BBC: National Geographic: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/biggest-storm/tornado-formation I […]

Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims

This Comment in Nature today by William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman is meant as a primer for policy makers who need to interpret science, but I would argue that this primer is also useful for scientists who might fall into this trap of overinterpreting or misinterpreting results in their own or others’ studies. […]

Every sentence in your scientific paper should meet these criteria.

July 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

Each sentence should be clear Each sentence should make sense. Each sentence should be supported by evidence. If you can’t defend it, remove it.

Misrepresenting Science: Saturn’s North Pole “Hurricane”

May 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured

By now, you may have read about the imagery from the Cassini mission to Saturn. The NASA press release calls it a “large hurricane”. The European Space Agency has a similar release. Nice false-color imagery, yes. But, bad science. Hurricanes are storms fueled by the release of latent heat from condensing water that is originally […]

A subjective discussion of the meanings of “subjective” and “objective”

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

Scientists are objective. Personal bias is not acceptable and interpretation that is subject to the observer is frowned upon. The above statement is the ideal to which we presumably strive to attain as scientists. The reality that we construct in our research is independent of the person doing the research. So, when someone performs some […]

Why study duck penises?

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured

If you ever needed an eloquent argument for funding basic science, please read this excellent editorial by Patricia Brennan. A particular highlight: Investment in the NSF [National Science Foundation, the U.S. government agency that funds scientific research] is just over $20 per year per person, while it takes upward of $2,000 per year per person […]

Dead salmon have meaningful brain activity, or how to get scientists to stop using outdated methods

March 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured

We’ve all seen in our science bad approaches or terminology that get established and are difficult to kill. Chuck Doswell has his pet peeves, I’ve battled against my share: conditional symmetric instability to explain banded precipitation and moisture flux convergence as a diagnostic for severe storms forecasting. Bennett et al. were awarded the 2012 Ig […]

Accepted at Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics after nearly two and half years

February 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Publishing

On 25 January 2013, 904 days from the date it was submitted (5 August 2010), a manuscript was finally published at Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Not only was this manuscript noteworthy for how long it remained in limbo before a final thumbs up or thumbs down from the Editor, but it was noteworthy for other […]

Book Review: Fake Science 101

January 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor

OK, it’s not strictly about communicating science, but this book was so freaking funny, I had to post something about it here. Fake Science 101: A Less-Than-Factual Guide to Our Amazing World. Here are some snapshots of the type of humor this book contains. Scientific fact: In order to save money, the Ivory Tower is […]

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