#ngram: science vs. religion

Google has launched Ngram viewer, a tool which lets you compare phrases appearing across the entire corpus of Google books (click the image below to see the graph in full).

Compare “science” against “religion” in books written between 1800 and 2008. The results are interesting – see how science begins to overtake religion in books written during WWII and onwards. The demise of faith after mass human tragedy and huge advances in medicine and warfare, perhaps?

Climategate, media coverage and wrecking reputations

On Tuesday evening, two journalists from well-regarded media institutions accused the academic science community of remaining locked up in ivory towers during a panel discussion on climate change. The basis for this accusation was ‘Climategate’ (sigh, I’ll keep the scandal+’gate’ rant for another post), where UEA scientists were accused of manipulating climate research data to hide flaws. Not only did scientists refuse to answer FOIs, but hid in ‘ivory towers’ as the scandal broke, they said. (I wrote more about this here).

Impossible, they said, to keep the stories balanced because scientists were so reluctant to communicate. Ironically, the one actual scientist scheduled to appear on the panel didn’t turn up.

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