First, Boing Boing led me to this really nice essay by Hillary Rosner about the overwhelming effects of all the advice people give pregnant women. Rosner is a science journalist, and was surprised by how overwhelmed she felt... but it also gave her some new insights:
"Pregnancy has allowed me for the first time to understand how hard it is to tell good information from bad. As a science journalist, I make my living by being able to decipher the two, but all these warnings bewilder me. As a result, I feel like I can see a bit more clearly how misinformation can become epidemic, leading to collective panic and seriously bad policy making."
Next, staying on the parenting theme, I found a good article via @ScienceofMom, with ideas for how to ask whether their are guns in the home when your kid is heading off for a play date. Pumpkin is just now reaching the age of "drop off" play dates, so we'll need to start asking about this. I also liked @DrRachelF''s suggestion for how to ask the question:
@wandsci @scienceofmom How about, "Do you have a pool in the yard? What about guns in the house?"
— Rachael French (@DrRachaelF) June 21, 2013
I have no idea how I came across this book review that hints at why education research doesn't have more influence on education policy, but it is interesting.
The Harvard Business Review had a good but rather depressing article about how companies really aren't equal opportunity employers.
Reading that reminded me of this excellent Ta-Nehisi Coates post about why we can't ignore race and just look at socioeconomic class.
"When you hear people claiming that "class" can somehow account for the damage of white supremacy, or making spurious comparisons between Appalachia and Harlem, you should be skeptical. I have made those comparisons. But learning is the entire point of researching, writing, and reporting. I am learning that you can not simply wish the past away."
He cites a lot of research explaining why you should be skeptical. It is a good read.
I always like to end on a happy note, so- say hello to Single Mom Postdoc, a new scientist and mother who blogs! If you go and say hello you will be one up on me- the cold and pile up of deadlines at work have seriously cut into my blog commenting- but you should do it, anyway. Her first post is about being a single mom in academia, and is very good.
Happy weekend, everyone!