A New Society for the Study of Cultural Evolution. I am now a “founding member” of this new society. You might want to be one too!
John Gray: Steven Pinker is Wrong about Violence and War in the Guardian.
The Big Kill by John Arquilla in Foreign Policy takes a similar view.
Army’s Anthropology Experiment Ends in Defeat by Tobin Harshaw. The Army is ending its “Human Terrain System” program which aimed to recruit anthropologists and other social scientists to help soldiers better understand Afghan culture. It had mixed results and a lot of push-back from anthropologists who, as a profession were not too keen on the idea.
The Science of Ending Conflict by David Berreby in Psychology Today.
9 Women Who Changed Anthropology by Caroline Ervin in stuff mom never told you.
The Little Boy Who Should’ve Vanished, but Didn’t by Robert Krulwich about a 12 year-old slave who “solved a botanical mystery that had stumped the greatest botanists of his day.”
How silence can breed prejudice: A child development professor explains how and why to talk to kids about race by Brigitte Vittrup in the Washington Post.
Fuck Nuance by Kieran Healy. This is about theory in sociology but seems (based on my social media) to have struck a chord with math theorists across the disciplines (e.g., biology, political science, anthropology). I sometimes find myself the only one in the room suggesting a researcher remove complexity from their model (almost everyone else wants them to add more). Worth a read. Maybe a good paper for a intro modeling class with students who can handle the F-word.
A theoretical lens for the reproducibility project by Paul Smaldino. This is about a neat and important model he recently published with Richard McElreath about the role of reproducability in science.
To understand the replication crisis, imagine a world in which everything was published. A related post by Andrew Gelman.
The most common way to fish for statistical significance in ecology by Jeremy Fox at Dynamic Ecology.
Exploring genetic causation in biology by John McLaughlin in Scientia Salon.
Why Science Is Not Necessarily Self-Correcting by John Ioannidis in Perspectives on Psychological Science (gated?)
Decoding the Remarkable Algorithms of Ants an interview with Deborah Gordon by Emily Singer at Quanta. I have read both of Deborah Gordon’s books about ant biology and both are very good.
The True Story of Kudzu, the Vine That Never Truly Ate the South by the Smithsonian. My wife was just telling me about this very issue about a week ago. The perceived invasiveness of Kudzu is exaggerated because it grows best in places that are most visible to humans so we have a very biased sample.
Neuroscience: The hard science of oxytocin by Helen Shen in Nature. (gated)
First Peoples: It’s Complicated. Razib Kahn reviews the PBS documentary.
What Use Is Population Genetics? by Brian Charlesworth in Genetics.
One explanation to rule them all? Clark Barrett reviews Speaking Our Minds by Thom Scott-Phillips.
The Social Rules Project. I haven’t explored this fully, but it looks like a neat idea.
Fun (in that internet sort of way):
A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem Solving by David Leonhardt in the NYT.
Tiny Data, Approximate Bayesian Computation and the Socks of Karl Broman at Rasmus Bååth’s Research Blog
The Red Queen’s Race: An Experimental Card Game to Teach Coevolution by Amanda Gibson, Devin Drown and Curtis Lively in Evolution: Education and Outreach. I use playing cards a lot when teaching game theory. This is an interesting way to teach host-parasite coevolution.