No, they did not laugh at Galileo

It’s like a junk science equivalent of Godwin’s Law. Pseudoscientific theories are defended with “Well, they laughed at Galileo too!”, as if the only reason these ideas were being rejected by scientists was that they were new and different. There are two big problems with this defense. Read the rest of this entry »


The scientists next door

For Ada Lovelace Day, since it’s all about this idea that women are statistically likely to benefit from having female role models, I’m going to talk about a bunch of friends of mine.

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How do you know?

When I’m out stargazing I often have someone ask me ‘What’s that bright thing I’ve been seeing after sunset every evening?’ This month the answer to that question is either ‘Venus’ or ‘Jupiter’, and then they come back with ‘How do you know?’

I usually come up with some inane answer like ‘I looked it up’, but I’m really fumbling for more details. Here are all the answers I would give them if I had more time. Read the rest of this entry »