Janet D. Stemwedel, Scientific American

Janet D. Stemwedel

Scientific American

San Francisco Bay Area, CA, United States

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  • Scientific American
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Past articles by Janet D.:

Science Must Not Be Used To Foster White Supremacy

It’s scientists’ responsibility to reveal the inherent biases of studies used to disparage Blacks and other groups → Read More

Are Self-Driving Cars An Ethical Imperative?

Some argue that ethics require self-driving cars to reduce fatal human error, but the ethical landscape where humans and cars share a world is more complicated than that. → Read More

Building Self-Driving Cars That Drive Ethically.

As self-driving cars get closer to the point of being street-legal, the engineers designing them are recognizing that the decision-making they build in embodies something like ethics — and are consulting with philosophers about how best to do that. → Read More

Experimental Reproducibility Has Always Been Hard But Cooperation Could Make It Easier

Understanding and controlling complicated experimental systems well enough to achieve reproducibility is hard. Lining up incentives to encourage scientists to tackle this challenge together, rather than abandoning it as unhelpful in the career competition, might make reproducibility easier. → Read More

Science Leadership And Science Careers

Science magazine is the flagship publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, so its coverage of careers should take the lead in improving conditions for scientists. → Read More

What If Tim Hunt Had Done It Differently

In a universe where Tim Hunt had chosen differently at crucial decision-points, we might be having a more productive discussion about how to address sexism in science. → Read More

Honesty Is A Duty For Physicians Even When Telling Stories

A posted-as-true account of surgical training that raises ethical questions is revealed to be fictional, raising different ethical questions. → Read More

Ethical Duties When Knowledge-Building And Reputation-Building Collide

When researchers publicly raised questions about a study of whether gay canvassers would shift people’s views on same-sex marriage, did it violate their duties to the author of the study, or fulfill their duties as members of a knowledge-building community? → Read More

Good Scientists Should Publicly Criticize Tim Hunt's Claims

The vigorous reactions to remarks by biochemist Tim Hunt about women in science are being cast as an internet shaming. Instead, they are part of how scientists engage with each other to build knowledge. → Read More

The Thirty Meter Telescope Reveals Ethical Challenges For Astronomy Community

Attempts by senior astronomers to rally support for the Thirty-Meter Telescope in the face of Native Hawaiian protests have raised larger issues about diversity and inclusion in the astronomy community. → Read More

Advice To Put Up With Ogling Adviser Hurts Scientists And Science

Telling early career scientists to put up with ogling from advisers is bad for those early career scientists and for the whole scientific community. → Read More

I’m so glad we’ve had this time together.

Today the editors of the Scientific American Blog Network are announcing a new vision for the network, one with increased editorial oversight and more editorial curation ... → Read More

Pennywise and pound-foolish: misidentified cells and competitive pressures in scientific knowledge-building.

The overarching project of science is building reliable knowledge about the world, but the way this knowledge-building happens in our world is in the context of ... → Read More

Twenty-five years later.

Twenty-five years ago today, on December 6, 1989, in Montreal, fourteen women were murdered for being women in what their murderer perceived to be a space ... → Read More

James Watson’s sense of entitlement, and misunderstandings of science that need to be countered.

James Watson, who shared a Nobel Prize in 1962 for discovering the double helix structure of DNA, is in the news, offering his Nobel Prize medal ... → Read More

Giving thanks.

This being the season, I'd like to take the opportunity to pause and give thanks. I'm thankful for parents who encouraged my curiosity and never labeled science ... → Read More

Kitchen science: evaluating methods of self-defense against onions.

Background I hate chopping onions. They make me cry within seconds, and those tears both hurt and obscure my view of onions, knife, and fingertips (which can ... → Read More

The Rosetta mission #shirtstorm was never just about that shirt.

Last week, the European Space Agency's Spacecraft Rosetta put a washing machine-sized lander named Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Landing anything on a comet is a ... → Read More

A guide for science guys trying to understand the fuss about that shirt.

This is a companion to the last post, focused more specifically on the the question of how men in science who don't really get what the ... → Read More

Ebola, abundant caution, and sharing a world.

Today a judge in Maine ruled that quarantining nurse Kaci Hickox is not necessary to protect the public from Ebola. Hickox, who had been in ... → Read More