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economics and sociology, part cdlxvii: comments on a blog post by noah smith

A few weeks ago, economics columnist Noah Smith wrote a blog post about how economics should raid sociology. This raises interesting questions about how academic disciplines influence each other. In this case, why has sociology not been a good a receptor for economics? I start with an observation, which Smith also alludes to: Sociology has […]

Microbiomania: The science behind the hype of probiotic regimes

In the wake of the White House’s new initiative to understand the microbiome, New Scientist reveals what is known about the microbes that live in our bodies

La Niña to give some relief from warming after hottest April yet

A cooling La Niña cycle is on the way, and it will give an insight into how much of the recent warming has been down to climate change

Contrary to Stereotypes, Women Lose More Time in Traffic than Men

“[A]n analysis of traffic can enrich sociological theory.” (Schmidt-Relenberg, 1968: 121) Almost everywhere we go is a “gendered space.” Although men and women both go to grocery stores, different days of the week and times of the day are associated with different gender compositions of shoppers. Most of our jobs are gendered spaces. In fact, […]

The diehards who survey the sky from a backyard shed

Amateur stargazers may be a dying breed in an age of computerised astronomy. Nick van Tiem has photographed them in their favoured haunts

Reef fish get it on with other species at melting pot islands

Genetic analysis of colourful surgeonfish from the Indo-Pacific show that most of them are hybrids of fish that became separate species hundreds of thousands of years ago

Architecture and Inequality on College Campuses

By Peter Kaufman Inequality is one of the most important and most popular topics that sociologists study. It might even be the most important and popular topic. Inequality is discussed in every introductory course, it is a prominent theme in...

three paths in sociology

After reading a good deal in the sociology of race last month, I appreciated that progress in sociology happens in three ways: Problem solving/topic concentration: Here, you choose a topic, say, urban poverty, and you attack it from multiple directions. In the course of solving the problem, you arrive at insights. It reminds me of […]

Doctors of America, you are free to counsel patients about guns

Let's bury the gun lobby myth that US medical professionals aren't allowed to discuss firearms risks with those they treat, say Marian Betz and Megan Ranney

Artificial spider silk mimics how it acts as liquid and solid

Inspired by the strange properties of spider silk, researchers have created "liquid wires" that could be used in soft robotics

A history of love, art, power and religion in 10 graves

We are the only animal to bury its dead, and we have been doing it for a very long time. These moving, fascinating finds reveal how the human mind has evolved

Time capsule galaxy can help probe conditions after the big bang

A galaxy with very low levels of heavy elements will enable astronomers to peer back in time

The Trucker, His Downfall, and the US Economy

According to this graphic by NPR, “truck driver” is the most common occupation in most US states: But truck driving isn’t what it used to be. In 1980, truckers made the equivalent of $110,000 annually; today, the average trucker makes $40,000. What happened to this omnipresent American occupation? At the Atlantic, sociologist Steve Viscelli describes his research […]

Why cheap green energy could derail the renewable revolution

Renewable energy sources are finally becoming competitive on price. Unfortunately that creates a serious problem, says Michael Le Page

Everything you’ve heard about sniffing oxytocin might be wrong

A nasal dose of the cuddle chemical makes us trust each other more. Or so we thought, until unpublished data started to come to light

new york, new york

Hey, orgheads! I will be in New York this coming Saturday and Sunday. If you want to hang out, email me. I have to give a talk on Saturday afternoon, but other times might be open. 50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street

Jeremy Corbyn's Speech to Progress

In yet another example of the lion laying down with the lamb, last Saturday say Jeremy Corbyn deliver a keynote speech at Progress conference. Yes, read that again. Jeremy Corbyn. Keynote. Progress conference. Debate rages whether it's broken, but everyone can agree that politics has definitely got weird. Show More Summary

Is delight or devil in the detail of this hedgerow homage?

A Natural History of the Hedgerow explains everything you ever wanted to know about this classic feature of rural Britain – and perhaps a fair bit besides

sykes-picot is 100 (with a nod at fanon at the end)

As we approach the 100th anniversary of Sykes-Picot, some interesting analysis (and defenses) from around the web: From the Economist (they have a larger section but you have to be a subscriber): A second wrong-headed notion is that redrawing the borders of Arab countries will create more stable states that match the ethnic and religious contours […]

orianthi/beat it

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($2!!!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street

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