This Week in Science 2017–09–24

Scott Douglas Jacobsen “The secret to enjoying a good whiskey? A dash of water. Whiskey drinkers have been doing this for centuries to heighten certain flavors and reduce burn. Science has two competing theories for why this works. One explanation suggests water traps bad flavors. Whiskey contains a compound called … Continue reading

Do 43% of Canadians really think science is “a matter of opinion”?

There is a survey getting a lot of hype in the media now, widely reported under headlines like “43 Percent of Canadians Say Science Is a ‘Matter of Opinion’”. Given that 100 percent of science headlines in the media are misrepresentions, what’s really going on here?

When Practical Knowledge Meant Power: The Memory Code

Three Part Totem - Martin Lopatka

In her latest book, The Memory Code, science writer Dr. Lynne Kelly details her thesis that the primary purpose of monuments ranging from the statues on Easter Island to Neolithic Stonehenge was not as tributes to the gods but rather as extremely effective memory technologies used by oral cultures to encode many hundreds of … Continue reading

An unextraordinary claim: Torture doesn’t work

Torture is in the news again, sadly, as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan made a public declaration that Canada will never use torture or be party to [it], a day after his meeting with US Defence Secretary James Mattis. That sounds decent, but there’s a lot of grey space around his … Continue reading

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