Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on Science and Technology

Recent & Selected Articles

  1. 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 education, children, youth, post-secondary education, film, and schools.
  1. The fall of Scientific American (October 24, 2023)
    When its articles touch on questions of gender and biological sex, Scientific American seems to have abandoned objective facts entirely, in favour of trans-activist pseudoscience.
  2. Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - November 13, 2021 (November 13, 2021)
    When we as a society are faced with difficult policy choices, can science tell us what choices we should make? We should be sceptical of anyone who says that it can, because that isn’t actually what science does. It can certainly provide information we need to take into account when making choices and trade-offs, but choices don’t automatically follow from science.
  3. WANTED: A different attitude to science (March 8, 2021)
    In our materialist, neoliberal society in which money is the measure of all things science is construed, and taught, almost entirely as a materialist pursuit - as the source of high technologies that can “compete” in the world market and make us all rich. (Or at least make some of us rich - those who are deemed to matter. Who, broadly speaking, are the ones who are rich already).
  4. The Scourge of Authoritarianism in the Age of Pseudoscience (May 5, 2020)
    Questionable science is being used to pursue policies that are essentially 'unscientific' - governments, the policy and the corporate media have become the arbiters of 'truth'.
  5. Researchers Are Substantially Undercounting Gene-Editing Errors (March 3, 2020)
    The standard gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, frequently produces a type of DNA mutation that ordinary genetic analysis misses, claims new research published in the journal Science Advances. In describing these findings the researchers called such oversights "serious pitfalls" of gene editing.
  6. Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory (February 13, 2020)
    The case of an animal rights activist who infiltrated an independent German chemical testing laboratory has triggered the discovery of an apparently extensive chemical testing fraud.
  7. The Hydroponic Threat to Organic Food (June 24, 2019)
    The US Department of Agriculture is approving methods as "Certified Organic" which are contrary to the principles of organic, sustainable agriculture. This is done mostly to comply with the demands of large agribusiness companies.
  8. Rigging the Science of GMO Ecotoxicity (January 29, 2019)
    Scientific article about dangers of GMO plants and techniques used by developers to disguise harms to get GMOs through testing.
  9. Trump and Science (November 1, 2018)
    Although Trump is called anti-science he simply continues a trend that started with Reagan. Calling him anti-science can mask how his policies and tactics are rational ideologies in the service of neoliberalism.
  10. Evolution in the College Classroom (September 1, 2017)
    New approaches embedded in introductory biology courses about science and religious belief point to promising models for instructors to adopt, and offer insight on strategies for encouraging more constructive dialogue about science and religion.
  11. Bouncing Back Against the Corruption of Science in Capitalist Society (May 1, 2017)
    Part two in a look at capitalism and the role of science, and the strong evidence that science can be on the side of social justice and social change.
  12. Science for the People with the EZLN (May 1, 2017)
    The Zapatistas have been extremely clever in responding to the continual challenges (not without serious setbacks), both militarily and politically. They have not only survived over the past 23 years but prospered, in their own terms, and gained considerable popular appeal.
  13. The Role of Science in Capitalist Society and Social Change (April 29, 2017)
    With its Republican allies in Congress, the Trump administration plans to cut scientific programs while feeding more fuel into the ravenous, murderous, and imperialistic war machine of the United States. Trump's hate of scientists is clearly universal as demonstrated by the sanctioning of 271 Syrian scientists by the Treasury Department despite the fact these scientists have not engaged in any hostile acts aimed at the United States.
  14. Science and its enemies (April 23, 2017)
    Our society and its institutions, public and private, regularly tell us that science, and education in the sciences, are crucial to our future. These public declarations are strangely reminiscent of the equally sincere lip service they pay to the ideals of democracy. And, in the same way that governments and private corporations devote considerable efforts to undermining the reality of democracy, so too they are frequently found trying to block and subvert science when the evidence it produces runs counter to their interests. Real live scientists doing real live science, it seems, are not nearly as loveable as Science in the abstract.
  15. Gene Drives: A Scientific Case for a Complete and Perpetual Ban (February 18, 2017)
    One of the central issues of our day is how to safely manage the outputs of industrial innovation. Novel products incorporating nanotechnology, biotechnology, rare metals, microwaves, novel chemicals, and more, enter the market on a daily basis. The majority of products receive no regulatory supervision at all.
  16. There's Nothing Parochial About the Issue of GMO Food Labeling (January 24, 2017)
    A criticism of the notion that the issue of labelling GMO foods is too narrow in focus, detailing the complexities of the issue and arguing for the broader importance of labelling.
  17. Zapatistas urge scientists to join in building a better world (2017)
    With all the damage that the capitalists have done to the people through their misuse of science, can we create a science that is truly human? Can we work collectively to defend life and humanity?
  18. Organic Farmers Are Not Anti-Science but Genetic Engineers Often Are (May 24, 2016)
    Henderson argues that biotechnologists conflate anti-science with anti-genetic engineering, and that genetically engineered crops are being commercialized without proper testing.
  19. Dear "Skeptics," Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More (May 16, 2016)
    So I'm a skeptic, but with a small S, not capital S. I don’t belong to skeptical societies. I don’t hang out with people who self-identify as capital-S Skeptics. Or Atheists. Or Rationalists. When people like this get together, they become tribal. They pat each other on the back and tell each other how smart they are compared to those outside the tribe. But belonging to a tribe often makes you dumber.
  20. Dear "Skeptics," Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More (May 16, 2016)
    A science journalist takes a skeptical look at capital-S Skepticism
  21. Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone (April 28, 2016)
    Researchers are increasingly turning to Sci-Hub, the world's largest largest 'pirate' website for scholarly literature. Sci-Hub is becoming the world's de facto open-access research library.
  22. God's Red Pencil? CRISPR and The Three Myths of Precise Genome Editing (April 27, 2016)
    For the last seventy years all chemical and biological technologies, from genetic engineering to pesticides, have been built on a myth of precision and specificity. They have all been adopted under the pretense that they would function without side effects or unexpected complications. Yet the extraordinary disasters and repercussions of DDT, leaded paint, agent orange, atrazine, C8, asbestos, chlordane, PCBs, and so on, when all is said and done, have been stories of the steady unraveling of a founding myth of precision and specificity. Nevertheless, with the help of industry propagandists, their friends in the media, even the United Nations, we are once again being preached the gospel of precision. But no matter how you look at it, precision is a fable and should be treated as such.
  23. "Lies, Lies and More Lies" - GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants (February 5, 2016)
    As as been well documented, it is the pro-GMO lobby/industry that distorts and censors science, captures regulatory bodies, attacks scientists whose findings are unpalatable to the industry and bypasses proper scientific and regulatory procedures altogether.
  24. Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market (November 21, 2015)
    Scientists are trained to express themselves rationally. They avoid personal attacks when they disagree. But some scientific arguments become so polarized that tempers fray.
  25. Neoliberal Ebola: The Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak (July 27, 2015)
    Wallace describes the rise of Ebola, connecting its outbreak to capital-driven shifts in land and changes in the agroeconomic context.
  26. Obama Administration Muzzling Its Scientists (December 11, 2014)
    Muzzling of scientists matters because they make policy decisions with real-world impacts on society.
  27. Researcher loses job at NSF after government questions her role as 1980s activist (September 10, 2014)
    Valerie Barr was 22 and living in New York City in 1979 when she became politically active. A recent graduate of New York University with a master’s degree in computer science, Barr handed out leaflets, stood behind tables at rallies, and baked cookies to support two left-wing groups, the Women’s Committee Against Genocide and the New Movement in Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independence. Despite her passion for those issues, she had a full-time job as a software developer that took precedence.
  28. Pesticide safety research shouldn't be left to the pesticide companies (July 30, 2014)
    Pesticide companies are responsible for assessing the safety of their products - and this situation cannot continue. The research should be carried out independently, subjected to peer review, and published.
  29. Eric Marshall laments closure of namesake Fisheries library (January 11, 2014)
    The government seems to be saying 'We want to exploit our natural resources, whether it's natural gas or oil sands, and basically to heck with environmental impacts.'
  30. Canada's Science Library Closures Mirror Bush's Playbook (January 9, 2014)
    The Harper government is now eliminating seven Department of Fishery libraries containing one of the world's most comprehensive collections of information on fisheries, aquatic sciences and nautical sciences.
  31. Fakethrough! GMOs and the Capitulation of Science Journalism (January 8, 2014)
    Good journalism examines its sources critically, it takes nothing at face value, places its topics in a historical context, and it values above all the public interest. Such journalism is, most people agree, essential to any equitable and open system of government. The science media has somehow escaped serious attention. This is unfortunate because no country in the world has a healthy science media.
  32. Secret Memo Casts Doubt on Feds' Claims for Science Library Closures (December 30, 2013)
    A federal document marked "secret" obtained by Postmedia News indicates the closure or destruction of more than half a dozen world famous science libraries has little if anything to do with digitizing books as claimed by the Harper government.
  33. What's Driving Chaotic Dismantling of Canada's Science Libraries? (December 23, 2013)
    Scientists say the closure of some of the world's finest fishery, ocean and environmental libraries by the Harper government has been so chaotic that irreplaceable collections of intellectual capital built by Canadian taxpayers for future generations has been lost forever. Many collections ended up in dumpsters while others such as Winnipeg's historic Freshwater Institute library were scavenged by citizens, scientists and local environmental consultants. Others were burned or went to landfills.
  34. Dismantling of Fishery Library 'Like a Book Burning,' Say Scientists (December 9, 2013)
    The Harper government has dismantled one of the world's top aquatic and fishery libraries as part of its agenda to reduce government as well as limit the role of environmental science in policy decision-making.
  35. Retracting Séralini Study Violates Science and Ethics (December 4, 2013)
    Giles-Eric Séralini, a professor of molecular biology at Caen University, led a toxicological study on GM maize and the Roundup herbicide which found an alarming increase in early death, large tumours including cancers, and diseases of the liver and kidney. What followed was a concerted worldwide campaign to discredit the findings.
  36. Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
    Working together to secure a future for the past
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. Model scientists (2008)
    In contrast to the plethora of day-to-day conversations on how to fit into the
    administrators directives, this essay provides a historical context, particularly though its extensive bibliography, to encourage today's biologists to question authority and question nature.
  41. 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.
  42. In Defence of Sex and Science: Review of Kinsey (2005)
    A review of the film "Kinsey".
  43. Judging Authority (January 1, 2004)
    We are often required to accept the word of another person, but how can we best judge whether or not that person is a legitimate authority?
  44. The Laws of Nature (2000)
  45. Postmodern Disrobed (1998)
    An admirable job of exposing the daffy absurdity of postmodernism intellectuals.
  46. Remembering Dangerously (March 1, 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.
  47. 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."
  48. The Renaissance and Rationality (1995)
  49. Marxism and the Critique of Scientific Ideology (1992)
  50. Bookchin on Technology (1978)
    Murray Bookchin's arguments for a liberatory technology.

Selected Websites and Organizations

  1. 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 education, children, youth, post-secondary education, film, and schools.

Books, Films and Periodicals

  1. 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 education, children, youth, post-secondary education, film, and schools.

  1. Altered Genes, Twisted Truth
    How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public
    Author: Drucker, Steven M.
    Drucker elucidates the scientific facts about genetically engineered foods that the PR myths have been obscuring.
  2. The Anatomy of Judgment
    Author: Regal, Philip J.
    Tracing the emergence of science and the social institutions that govern it, The Anatomy of Judgment is an odyssey into what human thinking or judgment mean.
  3. Bold Scientists
    Dispatches from the Battle for Honest Science
    Author: Riordon, Michael
    Accounts of scientists working in the public interest despite powerful opposition.
  4. 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".
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The No-Nonsense Guide to Science
    Author: Ravetz, Jeromo
  8. Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - April 23, 2016
    Science and its enemies
    Author: Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
    Our society and its institutions, public and private, regularly tell us that science, and education in the sciences, are crucial to our future. These public declarations are strangely reminiscent of the equally sincere lip service they pay to the ideals of democracy. And, in the same way that governments and private corporations devote considerable efforts to undermining the reality of democracy, so too they are frequently found trying to block and subvert science when the evidence it produces runs counter to their interests. Real live scientists doing real live science, it seems, are not nearly as loveable as Science in the abstract.
  9. 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.
  10. A Redder Shade of Green: Intersections of Science and Socialism
    Author: Angus, Ian
    As the Anthropocene advances, people across the red-green political spectrum seek to understand and halt our deepening ecological crisis. Environmentalists, scientists, and ecosocialists share concerns about the misuse and overuse of natural resources, but often differ on explanations and solutions.
  11. Silence of the Labs
    Scientists across the country are expressing growing alarm that federal cutbacks to research programs monitoring areas that range from climate change and ocean habitats to public health will deprive Canadians of crucial information.
  12. The War on Science
    Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper's Canada
    Author: Turner, Chris
    Do No Science, Hear No Science, Speak No Science -- that is the Harper agenda. And if this agenda is most evident and most pronounced in environmental science, that's simply because it is the field most likely to uncover evidence that the government's paramount goal -- to free the country's resource extraction industries from oversight in the name of rapid expansion -- is wrongheaded, reckless, and damaging.

Learning from our History

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