Speaking of Science

July 2013's selection of notable quotes

By | July 1, 2013

SMELL A RAT? One blogger did, and published a zoomed-in view (inset) of this image from NASA’s Curiosity rover to “prove” it.WWW.NASA.GOV

It’s a cute rodent on Mars. Note its lighter-color upper and lower eyelids, its nose and cheek areas, its ear, its front leg and stomach. Looks similar to a squirrel camouflaged in the stones and sand by its colors.

Scott Waring, writing on his UFO Sightings Daily blog about a photo snapped by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover that went viral in May because some claimed that it showed a rodent on the Red Planet


When the authority of scientists and journalists is hybridized with mass media entertainment, astrobiologists peering into telescopes and computer screens can scarcely be expected to compete for a place in the public imagination.

—University of Hawaii at Manoa researcher Rich Gazan, in a report he recently published on the public perception of the field of astrobiology through the lens of Stephen Hawking (June 3)


A DNA profile is useful to the police
because it gives them a form of identification to search
the records already in their valid possession.

—Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the majority opinion in the recent
Supreme Court ruling that upholds the police practice of collecting DNA
evidence from suspects at the time of their arrest (June 3)


Just because you’ve been arrested
doesn’t mean that you lose the privacy
expectations and things you have that
aren’t related to the offense that you’ve
been arrested for.

—Justice Elena Kagan, opining during oral argument in the Maryland v. King
case about whether police should be permitted under the Fourth Amendment
to collect DNA evidence from crime suspects at the time of their arrest (June 3)


The Anthropocebo Effect is then a
psychological condition that exacerbates
human-induced damage—a certain
pessimism that makes us accept human
destruction as inevitable.

—New York University environmental scientist Jennifer Jacquet, in reply
to’s annual question, “What ‘should’ we be worried about?”


I have little patience for the risk-averse
culture of academics. The bottom line is:
People need to decide if they want to be
heard, or if they want to be validated. . . .
What is the difference between being
heard and being validated? It’s whether
you are contributing to the solution or
to the hindsight.

—University of Wisconsin–Madison anthropologist John Hawks,
writing on his blog about the value of blogging in science (June 7)


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Avatar of: Curculio


Posts: 51

July 8, 2013

Those who believe in the 'end-times' have taken the anthropocebo effect to its absurd end.  Anthropocebo sounds much too close to anthroplacebo, which I think should lie opposite or obliquely to it on the spectrum of environmentally related psychologies.

Avatar of: MonZop


Posts: 8

August 2, 2013

Too bad that the picture cannot report the scream of the rodent. Those present at the scene clearly heard it:


August 7, 2013

What ‘should’ we be worried about?


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