Ramin’s musings on the pale blue dot
I initially started this blog (Science Political) to write about and discuss political issues within scientific research and education and on the way science informs and is affected by politics and policies. Since mid-2014, I also have been writing about astronomy and space news. To see what I’ve written about already, check out the blog post index below.
I hope I’ve made it clear in my posts, but in the interest of full disclosure, I am or have been a member of some of the organizations I’ve written about. These include the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Blog Post Index
My blog posts are listed below, with the most recent ones first.
2018 (so far)
144. February freelance writings: Possible alien lifeform; risks of marine energy; and big air snowboarding
143. It’s dangerous to idolize Elon Musk
142. Thoughts on the Doomsday Clock ticking forward
141. First 2018 bylines: NASA’s brand-new space capsule, the rise of the Anthropocene, and my path to science writing
140. A review of 2017, plus my freelance writing resolutions for the new year
139. New freelance writings: Planet Nine or Planet Nein, climate deniers spreading influence, and the first giant black hole
138. New freelance writings: searching for aliens, avoiding space war, and virtual reality addiction
137. A debate for the World Conference of Science Journalists: How can we make our profession sustainable?
136. New freelance writings: space policy debates, flawed flood maps, and harmful plastics
135. New freelance writings: planetary math, marine archaeologists, underwater robots, and a movie review
134. Sharing the solar eclipse
133. Lessons from my first six months of freelancing
132. We should beware the White House’s counter propaganda arm
131. Consciousness: Pushing the boundaries of science and pseudoscience
130. New freelance writings: forensic science reform, planet impacts, earthquake forecasting
129. Prison takes away what we need for a healthy life
128. Election polling postmortem finds flaws in polls of Midwestern states that went for Trump
127. New freelance writings: solitary confinement, lost SoCal beaches, Trump science, and where’s ET?
126. New spacey stories: killer asteroids, stellar DNA, and rogue planets
125. My new freelance writings: climate costs, light pollution, binary stars
124. To combat climate change, incremental change is not enough
123. Trump Transition News in Nature: Budget Situation, Scientists Respond
122. Is Trump betraying his base?
121. My election polling coverage for Nature
120. Counting the uncounted in the US election
119. California’s poised to become the first state to ban plastic bags
118. News from Nature: Gender Bias in Geoscience, Psychological Disputes, and Mining Asteroids
117. Book review: “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs” by Lisa Randall
116. The climate crisis is not a reproductive crisis
115. Campaign promises and proclamations I hope President Hillary Clinton will fulfill
114. News from Nature: women in physics, atom wranglers, musical preferences
113. Random thoughts from a new father/science writer
112. Inside Science reviews: “The Big Picture” (Sean Carroll’s book) and “The Man Who Knew Infinity”
111. Inside Science: Dark Matter Particles, Cosmic Lenses, and Super-Earths
110. Space mining is becoming a reality. But is it legal?
109. Future Long-distance Transportation: Trains versus Hyperloop?
108. Book Review: “Leaving Orbit” by Margaret Lazarus Dean
107. More News from Monterey: Otter Rescue, Coastal Economy, Fog Maps
106. Current Views of Climate Change: the general public versus top presidential candidates
105. News from Monterey: Low Water Levels, Fracking Debates
104. Book Review: Trace by Lauret Savoy
103. Exciting and Controversial Science: Gravitational Waves and a New Ninth Planet?
102. El Niño brings concerns of mudslides, flooding, and coastal erosion
101. Reporting from the American Geophysical Union: Fire Risk Maps, Rocky Mountain Forests, Sierra Nevada Water
100. New Planetary Science: Habitable Planets and Saturn’s Titan Moon
99. Philanthropists are Enabling and Influencing the Future of Astronomy
98. More Engineering News: Protein Engineering and Next-Generation Computer Architecture
97. Engineering News: Solar Cells and Plasma Combustion
96. The Return of Persian Science
95. Finding Earth 2.0
94. Frontiers of Computer Engineering: Graphene and Cognitive Networking
93. Nuclear Risk Reduction After the Iran Deal: Take Nukes Off Hair-Trigger Alert
92. What happens when you fall into a black hole?
91. Book Review: Five Billion Years of Solitude
90. My Surprising and Exciting Journey from Scientist to Science Writer
89. 8 Ways to Improve the Academic System for Science and Scientists
88. Reproducibility in Science: Study Finds Psychology Experiments Fail Replication Test
87. Why do we engage in space exploration?
86. Struggling Against Gender Bias in STEM Fields
85. As Galaxies’ Light Gradually Fades, the Universe is Slowly Dying!
84. How the Worsening Two-Tier Higher Education System Affects Students and Teachers
83. High-Definition Space Telescope: Our Giant Glimpse of the Future?
82. Happy Birthday to Vera Rubin, Discoverer of Dark Matter
81. New Discoveries as New Horizons Flies by Pluto!
80. How Does Pope Francis’s Encyclical Affect the Climate Change Debate?
79. Tussles in Brussels: How Einstein vs Bohr Shaped Modern Science Debates
78. Some Resources and Advice about Science Writing
77. Does your social circle bias your view of the world?
76. COMPETES Act: The House Science Committee’s Controversial Bill
75. Dispute Continues between Astronomers and Native Hawaiians about Thirty Meter Telescope
74. Physics Diplomacy and the Iran Nuclear Deal
73. Challenges of the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s Successor to Hubble
72. Nine New Dwarfs Discovered in Our Local Group of Galaxies
71. How Do Politics Interfere with the National Science Foundation and NASA?
70. Book Review: “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster”
69. NASA Missions Exploring Dwarf Planets Ceres and Pluto
68. Geoengineering and Climate Interventions: Too Risky or Needs More Research?
67. How Scientists Engage with the Public, Media, and Policy-Makers
66. Models Predict “Megadrought” Risk for American Southwest This Century
65. The Science of Citizen Science: Meetings in San Jose This Week
64. New Science at the American Astronomical Society Meeting
63. Jim Toomey, Cartoonist and Marine Conservationist, Speaks at Scripps
62. Science Policy at the American Astronomical Society: NASA, National Science Foundation, New Telescopes
61. Reporting from the American Astronomical Society Meeting: Impostor Syndrome, Publishing Changes, Sustainability
60. All Aboard to the American Astronomical Meeting!
59. Update: US Federal Science Budget for 2015
58. Thoughts on “Interstellar” and Questions it Raises
57. Conference on Nearby Galaxies in Memory of Charles Engelbracht
56. A pretty good first year!
55. Rosetta and the Time-scale of Science
54. Rep. Rush Holt, Physicist, to Lead American Association for the Advancement of Science
53. Comet Update! Rosetta’s Philae landed, but not as planned
52. Innovating Regulatory and Business Models in the Electric Industry (because climate change)
51. A Bad Week for Commercial Spaceflight
50. Implications of the Midterm Election for Science
49. Reporting from the National Science Writers Meeting in Columbus, Ohio
48. Three Astrophysicists (including me) Meet with Congresswoman Davis
47. One Man’s Perspective on Diversity and Inequality in Science
46. Rise of the Giant Telescopes
45. Is “Data-driven Science” an Oxymoron?
44. Exploring Physics with Intertribal Youth at UCSD
43. People’s Climate March in San Diego
42. Californians and the Environment
41. Astrophysicists Gather in Aspen to Study the Galaxy-Dark Matter Connection
40. Nuclear (non)proliferation and the Security of Earth
39. Journalism and Science Groups Criticize EPA’s Policy Muzzling Science Advisers
38. Rosetta and the Comet
37. Exploring the “Multiverse” and the Origin of Life
36. Extreme Space Weather Event #23072012
35. For Traveling Scientists: Praise for Trains
34. AAAS Symposium in Feb. 2015: Cutting-Edge Research with 1 Million Citizen Scientists
33. Comparing Models of Dark Matter and Galaxy Formation
32. Will Climate Change Embolden the Environmental Justice Movement?
31. A few thoughts on the peer-review process
30. And the science budget debates continue…
29. Climate Change Resilience and Governance: Preparing for the Effects of Global Warming
28. Thoughts on the Academic Job Market in the Physical Sciences
27. From Dark Matter to Galaxies
26. International Collaborations
25. Frontiers of Citizen Science
24. Diversity in Science
23. Climate Change is an Environmental Justice issue
22. How scientists reach a consensus
21. Water Policy Issues, with a Focus on the US Southwest
20. Big Science and Big Data
19. My Experience with the Congressional Visit Day
18. The Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget: Thoughts on its Implications for Science
17. Paradigm Shifts?
16. The Physics of Sustainable Energy
15. An introduction to “space security”
14. The Future of Fracking in California
13. Publish or Perish?
12. More from the AAAS meeting
11. Reporting from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting
10. Jevons paradox: a problem for energy efficiency?
9. Citizen Science: a tool for education and outreach
8. Scientific Integrity
7. US Energy Policy (part 2)
6. Environmental Justice
5. US Energy Policy (part 1)
If you’re curious, these are among my most popular posts: #14, 36, 57, 90, 38, 89, 29, 15, 24, 75 and 37.