Friday, September 3, 2010

The Anthro Reader, Vol. 5

From around the web this week: MORE science blog networks, sexual harassment, flint knapping, cephalopods, and a recommended book from a Twitter friend.

Let's get to it!

First, there are two, count 'em, TWO new science blog networks on the scene. First, up is The PLoS Blogs featuring Emily Anthes at Wonderland, Dan Lendes and Greg Downey at Neuroanthropology, Deborah Blum at Speakeasy Science, and Steve Silberman at NeuroTribes. There are lots of good reads here for your RSS feeds—good luck to PLoS!

After you're done with the PLoS, head on over to the Guardian's collection where you'll find GrrlScientist at Punctuated Equilibrium, Martin Robbins at The Lay Scientist, John Butterworth at Life and Physics, and Dr. Evan Harris at Political Science. Guardian also appears to have a guest author catch-all, which I think is kinda neat. Best of luck to these guys too.

Better get up to date on those quickly: Ed Yong says there are at least two more networks waiting behind the curtain. It really is an exciting time for science writing!

Now, on to the picks for this week:

Eric Michael Johnson continues to wander the web with The Primate Diaries in Exile Tour (#PDEx). He was just here at AiP last week, and has since found his way over to The Intersection at Discover. Eric tries to get to the root of sexual harassment by digging into our evolutionary history. He introduces the post with by recounting a meeting where a disturbing incident from his inaugural year as a PhD student:
It started many years earlier when the professor, let’s call her Dr. Leda, had first been hired at the university. She was to take over management of the lab previously run by a tenured male professor and carry out research using a specialized procedure as part of the conditions of her hiring. However, the lab was not yet equipped to allow for this procedure, a fact which Leda brought to her colleague’s attention. The tenured male professor explained that this upgrade would be expensive and time consuming. However, if Leda would be willing to have sex with him he could make the necessary improvements. Naturally she refused and brought up the lab upgrades to the department Chair (leaving out the sexual coercion since she had no direct evidence of it). Leda was told that any improvements to the lab would have to come out of the tenured professor’s grant and that she would need to take the issue up with him.
Eric discusses some very interesting parallels in research on apes and humans and sexual coercion. This is a though-provoking post and I recommend it highly.

After that post, how about an activity? I found this video on flint knapping on Julien Riel-Salvatore's blog, A Very Remote Period Indeed. Unfortunately, it's not embedding properly, but head on over and check it out. Julien is quite enthused:
They really do a wonderful job of showing the hand-eye coordination involved in flintknapping, as well as how much slight hand motion, control and feeling around is involved in the act... it's not just randomly bashing rocks, folks!
Ready to try your own hand?

Credit: Nhobgood
At Cephalove, Mike Lisieski tackles cephalopod consciousness in a series as follows: Part 1: Who Cares, Part 2: The Case for Animal Consciousness, Part 3: The Case for Cephalopod Consciousness, and Part 4: Reflections and Questions. When you get through the series, treat yourself to these awesome videos of cephalopods doing neat stuff.

Finally, I received a book recommendation from @lorenagibson. She's reading Madhusree Mukerjee's  Churchill's Secret War and is enjoying the global connections Mukerjee makes.

That's it for this time, folks. Readers in the US, hope you enjoy your long weekend. And a special nod to the bloggers at Southern Fried Science—here's hoping Earl doesn't do too much damage. 

Remember, you're also invited to send me interesting reads that may be featured here. You can message me on Twitter @anthinpractice or send me an email during the week if you come across something you'd like to share. 

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