Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on Science and Technology
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Academics Urge Government Climate Action (December 17, 2009)
More than 500 university faculty members from universities across Canada signed a letter to the Canadian Government calling for immediate drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The letter points out the time frame of reductions is critical.
- Rampaging Climate Deniers' Losing Battle (December 8, 2009)
Because of the flimsy comprehension of science and evolution of most writers in the mass media, those who venture to write about evolution feel constrained to present "alternative" views. But "alternative" views are not necessarily credible or true. The cliimate change deniers' arguments are no less articles of faith than those of the creationists. In the case of the former, the faith is not in a god but in the free market and capitalism. Almost without exception, those who are in staunch denial are those connected to, involved in or supportive of the traditional capitalist model of economic growth, and by implication opposed to anything that might constrain this model.
- Seven Answers To Climate Contrarian Nonsense (November 30, 2009)
Within the community of scientists and others concerned about anthropogenic climate change, those deny climate change are commonly referred to as contrarians, naysayers and denialists. Not everyone who questions climate change science fits that description, of course - some people are genuinely unaware of the facts or honestly disagree about their interpretation. What distinguishes the true naysayers is an unwavering dedication to denying the need for action on the problem, often with weak and long-disproved arguments about supposed weaknesses in the science behind global warming.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- An Annotated Bibliography of Nonsense (August 5, 2008)
Academic critics today not only question the impact of science upon society, but they also question the very idea of scientific rationality.
- Who owns knowledge? (September 21, 2007)
The resurgence of a Romantic view of culture poses a real menace to the free flow of knowledge and threatens to corral it into intellectual Bantustans. The ideas of free speech and open debate become meaningless if we fail to defend a universalist concept of knowledge or if we accept the notion of science as but a local view whose factual claims must defer to cultural and political needs. If scientific debate is constrained to express only sentiments with which people feel comfortable, culturally and politically, then science dies as the line between knowledge and myth becomes eroded.
- In Defence of Sex and Science: Review of Kinsey (2005)
A review of the film #Kinsey#.
- Judging Authority (2004)
- The Laws of Nature (2000)
- Postmodern Disrobed (1998)
An admirable job of exposing the daffy absurdity of postmodernism intellectuals.
- Chomsky on Post-Modernism (1995)
What I find in the writings of the post-modernists is extremely pretentious, but on examination, a lot of it is simply illiterate, based on extraordinary misreading of texts that I know well (sometimes, that I have written), argument that is appalling in its casual lack of elementary self-criticism, lots of statements that are trivial (though dressed up in complicated verbiage) or false; and a good deal of plain gibberish.
- Rationality/Science (1995)
Chomsky writes: "It strikes me as remarkable that the left today should seek to deprive oppressed people not only of the joys of understanding and insight, but also of tools of emancipation, informing us that the "project of the Enlightenment" is dead, that we must abandon the "illusions" of science and rationality--a message that will gladden the hearts of the powerful, delighted to monopolize these instruments for their own use."
- Remembering Dangerously (1995)
Like the witch-hunt trials of old, people today are being accused and even imprisoned on 'evidence' provided by memories from dreams and flashbacks -- memories that didn't exist before therapy.
- The Renaissance and Rationality (1995)
- Marxism and the Critique of Scientific Ideology (1992)
- Bookchin on Technology (1978)
Murray Bookchin#s arguments for a liberatory technology.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science
Author: Sokal, Alan; Bricmont, Jean
The authors criticize postmodernism in academia for its misuses of scientific and mathematical concepts in postmodern writing. Fashionable Nonsense examines two related topics: (1) The incompetent and pretentious usage of scientific concepts by a small group of influential philosophers and intellectuals; (2) the problems of cognitive relativism, the idea that "modern science is nothing more than a 'myth', a 'narration' or a 'social construction' among many others". The stated goal of the book is not to attack "philosophy, the humanities or the social sciences in general...[but] to warn those who work in them (especially students) against some manifest cases of charlatanism," and in particular to "deconstruct" the notion that some books and writers are difficult because they deal with profound and difficult ideas. "If the texts seem incomprehensible, it is for the excellent reason that they mean precisely nothing." The book includes long extracts from the works of Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Luce Irigaray, Bruno Latour, and Jean Baudrillard who are considered by some to be leading academics of Continental philosophy, critical theory, psychoanalysis or social sciences. Sokal and Bricmont set out to show how those intellectuals have used concepts from the physical sciences and mathematics incorrectly. The extracts are intentionally rather long to avoid accusations of taking sentences out of context.
Published in French as Impostures Intellectuelles and in the United Kingdom as Intellectual Impostures.
- Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science
Author: Gross, Paul; Levitt, Norman
Describes attacks on science, and on concepts of truth and rationality, in areas of the humanities.
- Man, Beast and Zombie
What Science Can and Cannot Tell Us About Human Nature
Author: Malik, Kenan
Drawing upon the ideas of evolutionary biology, cognitive science and artificial intelligence, Malik questions many of our assumptions about human nature.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Science
Author: Ravetz, Jeromo
- A People's History of Science
Author: Connor, Clifford
Connor focuses on the contributions of ordinary people living in ordinary times and the social and political history in which they lived. Spanning the time from the hunter-gatherers to the information highway and pharmaceuticals it can be divided into 3 broad sections: the years before the "scientific revolution", the years of that actual revolution and its modern consequence. For Connor scientific progress is the synthesis between the empirical hands on knowledge of the craftmen, labourers and tradesman and the intellectual thinker-knowledge that is both wide and deep.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada's print and broadcast media. (CX5857).
Sources - A directory that enables journalists to find spokespersons of organizations. Organizations that list themselves in Sources signficantly increase their odds of getting called by reporters when they are doing a story of their issues..
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