Elitism is a Threat to Science

Science is highly exclusive: the vast majority of people cannot participate in research, access research articles, influence what gets researched, or influence science-related policy-making.  This exclusivity is worrisome, not only because it is unfair (and that unfairness is not evenly distributed across different groups of people), but also because it is a threat to science […]

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You Don’t Have a Lizard Brain

Despite our best intentions, scientists sometimes make a very basic mistake: we look for what makes humans unique. Certainly, humans are not just unique, but extraordinary. Nothing else in the known universe has produced art, science, technology, or civilization. But, our history of searching for how, precisely, we came to be exceptional has often led to […]

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On the Golden Age of Islamic Science

We tend to think about the history of science as something that started in Ancient Greece, did fairly well in Ancient Rome, was forgotten in the world during the Middle Ages, and was then revived during the European Renaissance. What’s often neglected in this story is the vital role that medieval Muslims played in preserving and […]

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Ancient Greek Philosophy and the Birth of Neuroscience

We recognize today that the Ancient Greeks made significant achievements in mathematics, engineering, and astronomy, and that their achievements in these fields went unrivaled (in Europe) until the Renaissance. We know, for example, that Aristarchus proposed a heliocentric model of the solar system and offered a reasonably accurate estimation of the size of the Earth, and […]

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