Monthly Archives: July 2012

Writing a Dissertation Proposal: Where do I Fit?

As with many of our posts, some of the specifics of the topic might differ in your field. So, be sure to look at previous examples from your area. In general, a dissertation proposal will give your adviser and committee the gist … Continue reading Continue reading

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Blood Work, Chimeras and the Practice of Science

Ethical controversy over science is nothing new: in this post, Erin Pellarin compares the modern-day controversy over human stem-cells being placed in animal embryos to the controversy in 1667 over blood transfusions from one species to another. The main concern is always over the faint line between human and animal; at what point does this […] Continue reading

Posted in blood transfusions, Chimeras, early modern science, Ethics of science, genetic engineering, historical/ cultural study, history of science, Stem cell research | Comments Off on Blood Work, Chimeras and the Practice of Science

“A Genuine Start-Over Skin”: The Erotics of World-Creation

Killain C. Quigley draws parallels between the erotic and the contagious in his blog post, explaining how the characteristic “Human carrier” of disease and outbreak novels signifies an erotic undertone. And this is eroticism that is not only in a sexual sense (though there’s plenty of that in Oryx and Crake), but an uncanny and […] Continue reading

Posted in contagion, contagious, disease emergence, epidemiology, erotics, Future, future of education, future of the university, humanities, Killian Quigley, libido, Margaret Atwood, myth, Oedipal complex, Oryx and Crake, outbreak, past, Priscilla Wald, psychoanalysis, Sander L. Gilman, Sharon Marcus, Sigmund Freud, utopia, world creation | Comments Off on “A Genuine Start-Over Skin”: The Erotics of World-Creation

Flotsam and Chaos: Things in Oryx and Crake

Materialism and its corporate grip on society is a rampant theme in Oryx and Crake, and it’s no surprise that Dan Fang would take a particular interest in it. In this post, she discusses the significance of Jimmy’s retained materialism; the previously mundane things that he owns are tangible remnants of an apocalyptic past. Fang […] Continue reading

Posted in Capitalism, commodity, genetic engineering, Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake, post-apocalyptic world, things | Comments Off on Flotsam and Chaos: Things in Oryx and Crake

Getting Over the Mid-Dissertation Slump

So there I was: it was the third week of December, and I had one more chapter to write to complete my second dissertation draft (instead of writing and revising one chapter at a time, I wrote complete and subsequent … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in dissertation, Stress, Successful Strategies, writer's block, writing, Writing Process | Comments Off on Getting Over the Mid-Dissertation Slump

Jimmy’s Dilemma: The Completion of Crake’s Vision

The ending of Oryx and Crake is one of the more controversial parts of the book, partially for its vague cliffhanger, partially for the implications that Jimmy’s actions have on his current state of mind. This is what Erin Pellarin questions, theorizing that perhaps Jimmy has been brainwashed by his solitude and Crake’s purpose for […] Continue reading

Posted in Atwood, brainwashing, ethical dilemma, Ethics of science, future for humanity, Genetic Disease, genetic engineering, Oryx and Crake, plague, post-apocalyptic | Comments Off on Jimmy’s Dilemma: The Completion of Crake’s Vision

“Answers to Questions” and Questioning the Answers

Science isn’t all about hard facts and intricate detail: mired in the stacks of glossy-paged textbooks, we often forget that science is about inquiry and discovery, and that it can be a lot of fun. Dan Fang reminds us of this fact as she discusses the “play” of science, inspired by an exhibit at the […] Continue reading

Posted in art museums, corporate scientist, entrepreneur, Frist Center, popular science, public persona, role of scientists, Science and humanities, Steven Shapin | Comments Off on “Answers to Questions” and Questioning the Answers

​”The Scientific Life” in Real Life: Steven Shapin and “Popular” Science

Killian C. Quigley draws a comparison between Steven Shapin’s The Scientific Life and Martin Robbins’s article “Scientists say…”, detailing the relationship between scientific progress and its popular perception. Robbins’s article focuses on the journalistic spread of misinformation, which can lead to misconceptions of science by the public. Meanwhile, Shapin’s purpose is to reevaluate the individual’s […] Continue reading

Posted in academia, consensus, Ethics of science, history of science, Martin Robbins, popular science, science journalism, sociology of science, Steven Shapin, technoscience, the diet industry, The Gu, The Guardian, the MMR scare | Comments Off on ​”The Scientific Life” in Real Life: Steven Shapin and “Popular” Science

Shapin’s Science: Virtue and Science

Perhaps one of the greatest impediments to scientific advancement is the question of morality and virtue, especially concerning the commercial value of the growth of scientific technology. Erin Pellarin examines this in the blog post below, but she brings up additional questions of monetary gain; how exactly does money fit into the discussion of virtue […] Continue reading

Posted in Ethics of science, history of science and virtue, humanities and science, money and science, Morality, role of scientists, science and ethics, Sokol's Hoax, virtue | Comments Off on Shapin’s Science: Virtue and Science

Converging Paths

Research and technology have generated a convergence of three paths, which will alter our approach to mental health and growth.  These three paths are advancements in neuroscience, psychopharmacology, and psychiatric diagnosis, and their current crossing will significantly affect how we understand mental health and how we treat mental illness.  Theories of human development have been… Continue reading

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