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Scientific American In Blog Removal Controversy

samzenpus posted 1 year,8 days | from the take-a-deep-breath dept.

Censorship 254

Lasrick writes "Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D, the Urban Scientist blogger at Scientific American, has been mistreated twice: once by the blog editor at biology-online.org and now by SciAm itself. The blog editor asked Dr. Lee to contribute a blog post at Biology-Online, and when she declined (presumably for lack of monetary compensation), the blog editor asked her whether she was 'an urban scientist or an urban whore.' Then, SciAm deleted her blog post, in which she wrote about the incident."

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254 comments

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my vote (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116437)

urban whore.

Re:my vote (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116861)

I would have gone with "dumb nigger".

Re:my vote (3, Insightful)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117097)

Which is why you're both posting anonymously on slashdot.

New Season of Big Bang Theory (4, Insightful)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116439)

So real science is just like we see it on TV? Nice to know.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116457)

Although Biology-online is a nice sounding name, it doesn't look like much but another attempt to make money off clicks, not being a particularly great source of information or biology, but having stuff people want to click on anyway.

Much like Wired.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (5, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116479)

so Biology-online is mostly what we'd call an urban click-whore?

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116503)

Yes.

In any case, it's kind of hard to get worked up about someone insulting someone else on the internet.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116521)

Well, it oughta be easy! Just because it's rampant doesn't mean it's acceptable! It's time we put a stop to this crap.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116551)

It's time we put a stop to this crap.

Oh, applause for you AC. It's up to you to stop this [penny-arcade.com] .

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (4, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116587)

There was no anonymity or general audience in the original - and supposedly professional - channel of communication between the scientist and the latter's website representative. Just because something happens over the internet as opposed to IRL doesn't magically make it alright or unimportant.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116779)

There was no anonymity or general audience in the original - and supposedly professional - channel of communication between the scientist and the latter's website representative. Just because something happens over the internet as opposed to IRL doesn't magically make it alright or unimportant.

What I have to wonder is where the Scientific American flack was during the implicit "If your job involves some sort of communication Do Not make your employer look like an idiot on the internet" training that's sort of common knowledge at this point.

Horrible people are a dime a dozen; but the ones that know how to dress themselves sometimes also learn to keep their mouths shut in situations where it would be trivial for what they said to come back and bite them somewhere painful.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116647)

It's time we put a stop to this crap.

Oh, applause for you AC. It's up to you to stop this [penny-arcade.com] .

Shutup you shitcock.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116709)

Well, I think people just show their true colors when they're anonymous, rather than anonymity making them worse.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (3)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117263)

Yep. It's how you act when no one is watching that determines your true character.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116661)

In any case, it's kind of hard to get worked up about someone insulting someone else on the internet.

Agreed.
But it wasn't even an internet insult. The insult happened in Email, presumably as private as the NSA will allow it to be.
No one knew about it besides the recipient and someone claiming to represent the blog site.

Reprehensible as it was, It would have ended there, and probably should have.
Her reputation was not enhanced by dragging it into the public.

She had her own blog, The Urban Scientist, on which she could have answered this if she really
felt the need to take a private matter public, but to drag that into someone else's forum was
inexcusable.

Sci-Am is not the platform to settle scores for private insults. Taking it there merely damages Sci-AM,
an innocent bystander.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (5, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116917)

Reprehensible as it was, It would have ended there, and probably should have. Her reputation was not enhanced by dragging it into the public.

Maybe not, but airing things out in public can have other benefits. I've on many occasions responded to such harassment by mentioning it to others working for the same organization, and invariably I get replies describing similar treatment that others have received from the same perp(s). I've even seen a few cases where, after a bit of open discussion of the topic, the aggressor was the one fired. This hasn't happened with me, but I'm pretty sure I've triggered at least a few "reorgs" by talking openly about how the org was being run. This can be to most of the workers' (and the org's) benefit in the long run.

Mistreating someone and then trying to intimidate them into silence is rarely in the organization's best interests. It usually means that the upper management is being kept ignorant of their organization's internal problems, and it doesn't take a managerial genius to understand the problems that this can lead to.

In any case, I seriously doubt that it would have ended there. In my experience, people who get away with such things generally conclude that their behavior is accepted, and they continue to treat others the same way.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117057)

But there was no management involved. No one to complain to.
Am-Si had no way to police the issue. No control at all.

She got a nastygram from a website.
She had her own platform to pontificate on the matter.

Why take it to some third party site and cause an flame war to ensue there?
Its like taking your family squabbles into Starbucks or starting a shouting match in a Restaurant.
When they throw you out, how is any part of that THEIR fault?

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45117121)

Because others reading the 3rd party site might find it of interrest that biology-online wants free work and when they do not get it they act like a little kid.

Why did you post your thoughts here on slashdot instead of on your 'own platform'?

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117185)

No, it's not like. SA has blogs for public discourse about matters important to the community; it is not a restaurant. Your analogy is disingenuous.

"Private matter"? (4, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117037)

There's no reason to cover for an abusive person.

It's not a good bet that it was private in any sense. If that's what they said to her directly, what were they saying behind her back?

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (2)

tylikcat (1578365) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116801)

Context is everything. What might be almost friendly on Reddit is a lot more problematic when coming from an editor of, yes, a blog, but a blog that at least pretends to be professional. And it becomes newsworthy when SciAm gets all "Ooo, can't talk about that!" Which really, is pretty lame and inconsistent with previous policy.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116659)

so Biology-online is mostly what we'd call an urban click-whore?

We have companies arrogant enough to call themselves "Doubleclick", who's sole purpose and existence in life is to do nothing but buy and sell mouse clicks, and you're going to actually attempt to call any individual entity a click-whore?

The whole fucking internet has been turned into nothing but that. Find me a website that isn't profiting off clicks in some way.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116701)

Although Biology-online is a nice sounding name, it doesn't look like much but another attempt to make money off clicks, not being a particularly great source of information or biology, but having stuff people want to click on anyway. Much like Wired.

That is what Sheldon would say about any biology publication.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116729)

"Although Biology-online is a nice sounding name, it doesn't look like much but another attempt to make money off clicks, not being a particularly great source of information or biology, but having stuff people want to click on anyway."

The problem is that Scientific American itself has become little more than an opinion whore.

Scientific American has chased me away with its unscientific political and social stance and rants. I can read that sh*t anywhere... I don't want or need to read it in a magazine that's supposed to be about science.

Their editorials have increasingly become politically motivated (and unrelated to actual science), as have their articles and their blog.

I haven't bought a copy in years because of this, and it's just as well because it's only gotten worse.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (0)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116755)

Science is going down that path, too.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (3, Interesting)

ancientt (569920) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117007)

I thought it was just me. I enjoyed a subscription for quite a while, and was content to ignore the political and social commentary for quite a while. Eventually, however, I found it just more effort to focus on the actual science than it was worth. With plenty of other sources to turn to for actual science, finally I just decided not to renew.

I miss the old days when I could hold the printed pages in my hand and learn something. I still get the data from other sources of course but it isn't quite the same. From time to time I have considered resubscribing in the hope of finding that missed feeling, but it sounds like I wouldn't be pleasantly surprised.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (1)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117043)

I suppose that intellectual dishonesty comes from the Editor. If you dig through the links, Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief, now says "we were not able to communicate our decision to Dr. Lee before removing the post on a late Friday afternoon before a long weekend," and goes on to talk about "holiday-weekend commitments."

As if sending an email to the authour saying "I did this, let's discuss next week" is difficult. And, who gets Columbus Day off, except the post office and banks?

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (0)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117117)

People who work in academia, i,e,, scientists.

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (1)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117211)

Oh, people who don't work (comment on academia, not scientists - plenty of whom do real work). Why is it called a "holiday," then?

Re:New Season of Big Bang Theory (1)

Psion (2244) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117105)

Another former subscriber here, and I just can't tolerate the obvious bias that has crept into the once-great publication. I subscribed for years, then let it lapse, picked it up again out of nostalgia, let it lapse, and now completely ignore it.

George Takei's response (0, Offtopic)

Servaas (1050156) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116449)

Oh My!

"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed" (0, Troll)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116463)

Does that pass for evidence nowadays?

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (4, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116489)

Why wouldn't it count as evidence? Perhaps the word you were looking for (two actually) is incontrovertible proof?

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116517)

I think because it's so easily faked. The screen-grab itself certainly provides no more evidence than the person saying, "I got an email and here is the text....."

Re: "according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbe (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116525)

Which is both scientific and legal evidence, yes, thanks for adding to the conversation.

Re: "according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbe (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116773)

Which is both scientific and legal evidence, yes

Which is pathetic, since it's easily faked.

Re: "according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbe (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117075)

Nearly everything presented as "evidence" in court is easily faked. Witnesses are bought, knives look like murder weapons, unless everyone on the jury is a medical examiner and can see the wounds don't match the knife type. Evidence is evidence, even if not "strong" or "incontrovertible".

Re: "according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbe (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117143)

Nearly everything presented as "evidence" in court is easily faked.

Not really - everything presented by one party is examined by the other party, so a pile of easily fabricated evidence implies reasonable doubt implies no conviction. When it comes to material evidence, a lot more time is spent explaining the relevance or irrelevance of evidence than on trying to show that e.g. the prosecution has fabricated evidence (which would be a pretty fucking serious accusation).

Re: "according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbe (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117335)

You can cross examine a witness, but if they were paid off, how will that help you determine the evidence was tampered with? It always comes down to trust, not evidence.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116707)

Scientific publishing operates more on trust than most people realize, and more than the legal system does. If I say I got this band on a western blot, and submit it to Science (the journal), they run routine checks to make sure I haven't done any very dumb editing like in MS paint. They send it to reviewers who will flag it if there's anything glaringly obvious technically. If the claims are extraordinary, they'll require more proof. But at the end of the day, I'm sending them things which could fairly easily be faked.

Why is it this way? Two reasons, one it's impossible to be absolutely sure of anything (as zero kelvin pointed out) and two, because scientists are generally not in it to lie to other people.

So unless there's a good motive for the person to lie, like an undisclosed financial incentive, why don't we assume scientists are being honest? Especially given that no one is disputing it and SciAm gave a politician's apology (or apologized without apologizing). [scientificamerican.com]

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116743)

Scientific publishing operates more on trust than most people realize, and more than the legal system does. If I say I got this band on a western blot, and submit it to Science (the journal), they run routine checks to make sure I haven't done any very dumb editing like in MS paint. They send it to reviewers who will flag it if there's anything glaringly obvious technically. If the claims are extraordinary, they'll require more proof. But at the end of the day, I'm sending them things which could fairly easily be faked.

Yes, and from time to time, data is actually faked.

Which is one of the reasons reproducibility is so crucial for science.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117089)

What if the lie is in line with the truth? That's what the drug companies that fake trials hope, and why Vioxx made it through. The lies were consistent and not glaring, and agreed with expectations. They were just wrong on whether it'd kill. But what about the other 9 that they did the same falsifications in trials? Nobody will ever find them. IT wasn't like the Fugitive where they knew it bad and covered it up, but that they don't know it's bad, so they find it to be good, without looking at any real data.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117155)

A place where assumptions lead to deaths?

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117393)

If the assumption is correct, then it won't lead to deaths. That was the point. The drug companies (And others) are faking ever having had a trial, not having a trial, finding it kills, then going to market with it anyway (as in the fictional Fugitive example). If the assumption is correct, then there are no deaths. The problem isn't assumptions, but trust.

There has to be trust somewhere, and someone betraying it causes issues.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116873)

because scientists are generally not in it to lie to other people

Throwing out an accusation that someone is using abusive language is nothing to do with science.

And you simply cannot imply - as you have done by saying "why don't we assume scientists are being honest" - that someone is less likely to lie in general just because they are a scientist. That is terrible prejudice.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116523)

You're equivocating. It may or may not be admissible as evidence in a hearing, but it doesn't tend to prove or disprove anything, and it certainly makes nothing manifest.

Finally, no evidence is "incontrovertible proof". The best we can get is "beyond reasonable doubt".

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116545)

"You're equivocating."

No. I'm reading, understanding, and using the English language properly. You should try it some time!

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0, Flamebait)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116573)

OK, maybe English isn't your first language, so I'll break it down. Possibilities:

i) I was using a different meaning of "evidence" to the one you had in mind (noting that there are several definitions of the word);

ii) I had exactly the same definition of "evidence" in mind as you, but decided to type nonsense just to annoy you.

Which is more likely?

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116601)

From your original post:

"Does that pass for evidence nowadays?"

... and you have the combination of balls and shear stupidity to suggest that English might not be my first language? You are one funny SOB! Thanks for the laugh.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (-1, Offtopic)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116619)

I assume you're saying that you aren't a native English speaker. OK, no problem. To help you out, from the OED:

a. to pass for (also as) : to be taken for or to serve as (usually with the implication of being something else); to be accepted or received as equivalent to.
1463 in W. Kennedy Ann. Aberdeen (1818) II. 472 [The sum] wes nocht lachful na sufficiande to pas for payment.
1467 Acts Parl. Scotl. II. 88/2 The aulde Inglis grot sall pas for xvi d.
a1500 Sidrak & Bokkus (Lansd.) 6441 (MED), Oure foul wille at was so kene Shal wasshe away and passe for noght.
1600 Shakespeare Merchant of Venice i. ii. 54 God made him, and therefore let him passe for a man.
1662 E. Stillingfleet Origines Sacræ iii. ii. 17 Had Lucretius been only a Poet, this might have passed for a handsomly described Fable.
1711 J. Addison Spectator No. 1. 5, I..sometimes pass for a Jew in the Assembly of Stock-Jobbers at Jonathan's.
1752 A. Murphy Gray's Inn Jrnl. (1756) I. 142 A very Considerable Number of masqueraded Shillings..so well disguised, that they passed among the Company for Guineas.
1809 B. H. Malkin tr. A. R. Le Sage Adventures Gil Blas III. ix. vii. 438 You pass for a kind-hearted gentleman.
1884 H. Spencer New Toryism in Man v. State 1 Most of those who now pass as Liberals, are Tories of a new type.
1954 F. O'Connor Let. 13 Feb. in Habit of Being (1980) 68, I have what passes for an education in this day and time, but I am not deceived by it.
2002 Hotdog Feb. 33/2 Even expressions such as ‘bang-tail’ and ‘pinch-pricks’ (Whitechapel prostitutes), could pass as modern street slang back in the 'hood.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116713)

I'll assume you are too stupid to speak modern English, and fool enough to think that quoting the OED references to past and antiquated usage will somehow function as a valid argument in a discussion with someone who has an IQ at least 30 points higher than you. Now off you go little troll ...

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116787)

Non-bracketed usage is most common in British English. As for modern usage, compare e.g. instances of "this passes for" vs. "this passes as" on Google.

Time to crack open a beer and chill out, bud. You slipped up. And I don't care to compare our IQs, penis sizes, or whatever substitutes you make for decent measures of a human.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116795)

I'll assume you are too stupid to speak modern English

Why? Old ways of speaking are not invalid, and he's not wrong for using them.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116889)

If you are the native english speaker then it is certainly your job to write as clearly as possible and if being misunderstood to try to clarify. Possibly without insulting people for not knowing _your_ native language - that makes you look like an idiot. being non-native in english does not in any way invalidate ZK's points.

I am not a native english speaker. so therefore anything i say must be wrong (especially since my grammar and spelling sucks), right mr. bigot?

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117069)

1. I used a common English phrase;
2. I stated that I understood that my audience might not be native English, to show that I was willing to provide assistance;
3. I explained how to best approach a difficulty with reading comprehension: if you are not sure how to interpret something, don't choose an interpretation which makes no sense;
4. When my audience still failed to understand, I responded by providing a dictionary definition with several usage examples;
5. Finally, I provided a clarification on how to read this dictionary and a method to study modern usage.

What more should I have done, please? I'm not used to confronting someone who has such difficulty understanding how to handle language in general.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116725)

Ah, why did you have to bite at his bait? You were doing fine until this post

(And you are completely right, BTW -- a screenshot *is* evidence. Different pieces of evidence have different weights)
 

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116739)

I admit that I have difficulty not calling a spade a spade as the expression goes. I am not completely convinced it was bait, though. I'm pretty sure he really is an idiot.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117099)

His use of English was consistent with a native speaker for use of "pass for". You lost the argument. You were right on the definition of "evidence" but got so lost on "for"/"as" that nobody remembers that he originally misused "evidence" when the appropriate word based on usage should have been "proof".

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

fast turtle (1118037) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117131)

The old saying seems to apply today ZK: "IT takes one to know one" says it all doesn't it.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116817)

2. since this is /.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116855)

It is as good as the persons word that it happened, and peoples word are often taken into evidence (as one piece of several that end up making it "proof").

But you already made this a philosophical (and therefore for most people useless) argument for your point with "no evidence is 'incontrovertible proof'". most of us live in the real world where some evidence actually do prove certain events did occur - especially when combinated with a few related pieces of evidence. even more so when the opposing side is not arguing against the evidence.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117109)

He's Dead Jim.

That's incontrevertible proof. Doesn't tell us what killed him or how he died, Just that "He's Dead Jim."

Simply put, incontrevertible proof can and does exist. It's just not required by Law.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116507)

Also, questioning the quality of evidence isn't "flamebait", mods. I would like to believe that this scientist is acting in good faith, but I refuse to come into this with any prejudice.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117113)

So a picture of a person standing over a dead body holding a gun is not "evidence", nor is the eye witness account? The picture is offered as support for the eye witness, not a replacement for, nor in opposition to any other "evidence." So there is evidence for something, and none against, so why would you immediately pick sides against the evidence? That's flamebait, especially when you claim to be interested in the evidence.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117297)

Of course it's admissible as legal evidence, but that's not the sense in which I was using the word "evidence".

This is the kind of argument I only seem to have on geek forums. Everywhere else I have discussions, there is an understanding that you can't equivocate, i.e. you cannot choose your favoured definition for some term and then counterargue on the basis of your chosen definition rather than the other person's valid usage.

To be clear, the first definition in the OED is:

The quality or condition of being evident; clearness, evidentness.

This is the sense in which I was using "evidence". An e-mail screenshot obtained by an accuser does not make anything evident/clear, therefore it may be inappropriate to publish it in a professional blog run by a reputable magazine. In fact, it's the easiest sort of thing to fake.

Now, the third and fifth definitions of "evidence" are:

3a. An appearance from which inferences may be drawn; an indication, mark, sign, token, trace. Also to take evidence : to prognosticate. to bear, give evidence : to afford indications.

5a. Ground for belief; testimony or facts tending to prove or disprove any conclusion. [...]

You're all assuming these definitions. I'm using the first. I would think this obvious, because otherwise my post makes no sense. But, again, I never have this sort of problem with language except on geek blogs, where people seem to adopt domain-specific interpretations for words and ignore all others, even if they're more popular in common parlance.

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116559)

It's a blog article, not a trial. What would you like her to do, get all the server logs, authenticated by sworn affidavits from the admins?

Re:"according to emails which Dr Lee screengrabbed (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116597)

Well, if someone is writing for a blog which I publish, I would not like them to publish personal spats containing libellous material to that blog, when all they have to show in favour of their position is their own screenshots of an e-mail exchange.

So, trying to understand the position of SciAm, I would like her to either provide something stronger, or to discuss these things elsewhere.

i vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116483)

for the latter

Let's extend the analogy Wired. (1, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116535)

So let's extend the analogy, since it was used first by the Biology-Online.org representative it's fair game right?

Headline should have been:

Biology-Online.org representative admits it is always looking to screw it's contributors!

The Joe Montana of the biology world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116561)

Just like Joe Montana. No pay for appearance, no show. Loser.

Surprised? Not Entirely (4, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116569)

It seems that the whole scientific publication industry is undergoing big changes, and as a result a lot of sloppy and/or dishonest behaviour is popping up.

As reported at The Guardian [theguardian.com] and elsewhere:

Hundreds of open access journals, including those published by industry giants Sage, Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer, have accepted a fake scientific paper in a sting operation that reveals the "contours of an emerging wild west in academic publishing". The hoax, which was set up by John Bohannon, a science journalist at Harvard University, saw various versions of a bogus scientific paper being submitted to 304 open access journals worldwide over a period of 10 months.

Re:Surprised? Not Entirely (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116797)

Be careful of what the Guardian says on this topic. They are very anti-open access for journals.

Re:Surprised? Not Entirely (2)

rueger (210566) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117111)

I actually heard a lengthy interview with the author the study last week, and I did not get that impression. Just anti "print anything that comes over the transom as long as they pay."

I agree with SciAm, sort of. (2, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116585)

She was right to want to say something and discuss the issue, but stuff like that belongs somewhere that clearly labels it an op-ed piece. It was not an article about science.

SciAm was wrong for removing it without notifying her of why. Perhaps they should have just moved it to an op-ed section for her. Or maybe it's against their policy to comment about competing websites, though that'd be weird. They tweeted this:

Re blog inquiry: @sciam is a publication for discovering science. The post was not appropriate for this area & was therefore removed.

Everyone has moments, hopefully not many, where they are slighted professionally. Having an audience placed in front of you does not mean you get to neglect them and use it as a soapbox for your issues.

Re:I agree with SciAm, sort of. (5, Informative)

Autumnmist (80543) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116617)

Except the whole point is that many science bloggers at SciAm have posted "non-scientific" posts as well, so the "this is not about discovering science" excuse is BS.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/context-and-variation/2013/10/12/this-is-not-a-post-about-discovering-science/ [scientificamerican.com]

Re:I agree with SciAm, sort of. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116675)

I found several SA bloggers that have almost zero scientific background of any kind. At least one that I know of is merely an English major with a slight interest in science who has learned to use the word anecdata as though it is her only tool.

Re:I agree with SciAm, sort of. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116891)

What do you think it IS about? Racism, as the author of your link implies?

Re:I agree with SciAm, sort of. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116711)

A quick look at Dr. Lee's other blog posts show a range of topics, some of which are directly science-related and others which talk more about the profession of science. So I call bullshit on the "not appropriate" comment. While it may be true that "every one has moments ... where they are slighted professionally", that does not make it acceptable, and one very effective way to combat such comments is to discuss the comments in a public way so others can see and learn what is and is not allowed. I would think, though, that calling a professional woman a whore because she refused to work without pay is so universally unacceptable that such discussion is not needed. And yet it apparently happened, and that fact further elucidates the difficulties that women face in being treated professionally.

Re:I agree with SciAm, sort of. (2)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117083)

She was right to want to say something and discuss the issue, but stuff like that belongs somewhere that clearly labels it an op-ed piece.

I'm not sure what would be a more appropriate than a "blog" to post an opinion. The whole point of a blog section is to separate the articles from more rigorous topics.

It was not an article about science.

It was an article about the "industry" of science, a topic that is often covered by in that forum.

WTF... (4, Insightful)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116643)

is an urban scientist?

Re:WTF... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116681)

It's like an Urban Whore but costs more and she insists you take her to a fancy restaurant first.

Re:WTF... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45117243)

ah don' care wut anyone sez, but that was funny raht there!

This is not newsworthy. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116683)

Slashdot sinks deeper into the cesspool of irrelevance
with each passing day.

Re:This is not newsworthy. (1)

ArbitraryName (3391191) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117181)

It's unfortunate they come to your house with guns and force you to read and post on it. Have you contacted the police?

If she's a whore ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116687)

If she's a whore, looking at her visage on Google Images, I can't imagine that she's particularly successful.

Maybe if she focuses on high-volume transactions, such as $10 for a blow job or a hand job in an alley.

Just in case she uses Google, I will say for the record that I would pay Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D, $25 for anal.

Re:If she's a whore ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116877)

... I would pay Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D, $25 for anal.

You're in luck, AC. She had a strap on that's just your size. Ginormous!

Or so I've heard from some biology website.

So is she a urban whore? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116697)

That is what the world really want's to know. Why are bitches so upset when you call them whores? I mean seriously I thought the modern sexually liberated women wanted to be free to express her saxuality, and be a whore. You can't have it both ways. I for one, am all for whores. But the bitches today all want to pretend they are virgins. It is funny that this planet has 6+ billion mofos on it, and every single girls your talk to is a virgin. Something is seriosuly amiss.

However, it would seriously improve the appreciation of science if all the girls who participated in it were naked and whores. We need more whores in science. Why is playboy deviant pornography, while 50 shades of gray (where the woman is willingly abused by the man) considered literature.

Talk about sexism... (3, Insightful)

Rolpa (3036845) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116761)

I think this is a little more outrageous than a joke about big dongles, don't you think? ;)

Re:Talk about sexism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116825)

I think this is a little more outrageous than a joke about big dongles, don't you think? ;)

How is that sexist? Whore can apply to both men and women. You are the sexist one here.

Re:Talk about sexism... (2, Informative)

Rolpa (3036845) | 1 year,8 days | (#45116981)

97% of the time, the term is applied to women. Do you think they would have expressed themselves in such a manner if she were a man?

Re:Talk about sexism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45117219)

That's child's play compared to Linus' rants, which are much more than 97% of the time directed at men. You hardly ever hear of anyone crying about it though since men usually aren't attention whores.
That said, the guy's in the wrong for expecting people to work for them for free and becoming angry when people don't like that excellent deal. SciAm is right for removing her post since it's an opinion piece that'd only cause problems for them. The gal was only reacting against the guy's attack, and posting on SciAm was a good way to cause damage so she acted correctly as well; that's assuming the guy wasn't joking, if he was and she knew that she's a complete prick.

Apologize unreservedly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45116867)

"...and consequently for legal reasons we had to remove the post."

How insulting would it be if someone asked Mariette DiChristina, "so are you a SciAm editor-in-chief or a whore for the legal department ? "

Equally insulting.

Mariette DiChristina needs to apologize for taking down Dr. Danielle Lee's post, no ifs and buts and back-pedalling.

More on Popehat (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45117013)

There is quite a lot on Popehat, especially in the comments section.

http://www.popehat.com/2013/10/13/biology-online-org-urban-whores-and-the-many-axes-of-douchebaggery/#comments

What would the ducks do (1)

AndyKron (937105) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117025)

What would the guys on Duck Soup do?

Explanation from Sci Am's Editor in Chief (4, Informative)

Schnoodledorfer (1223854) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117035)

This was recently posted on Sci Am's website: A Message from Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief [scientificamerican.com] . It looks like a pretty reasonable explanation to me. The excuse is that it happened on a three-day weekend (Monday is Columbus Day in the USA) so they were short staffed. They were worried that if the accusation isn't correct, they could be sued, so they want to check the accuracy of the blog first. They acknowledge that they should have done better and claim that they will develop procedures for the future.

Re:Explanation from Sci Am's Editor in Chief (1)

Schnoodledorfer (1223854) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117127)

Continuing from the parent comment...

I think the explanation for the tweet was lame, but at least DiChristina acknowledged that she screwed up.

My brief attempt to clarify, posted with the belief that “saying something is better than saying nothing,” clearly had the opposite effect. With 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had simply promised a fuller reply when I was able to be better connected and more thorough.

It's kind of hard for me to be very critical. After all, I just screwed up by not putting what I just said in my previous comment.

Re:Explanation from Sci Am's Editor in Chief (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45117233)

I find the SciAm editor's explanation lame and unsatisfactory.

Her tweet expressed this: "At Scientific American, we don't allow our bloggers to air personal grievances."

Her subsequent explanation expressed this: "As a women scientist, I am personally concerned with the type of issues that Dr. Lee raised; however, we simply did not have time to investigate them when she posted her allegations."

Note that the two are completely different (and I will give her credit for this point, that she was aware there was a big difference).

Now, assuming her second explanation was accurate, what did the editor do when she found out about the allegations? One would think that she would have immediately recognized this as serious situation, the type of thing that she was hired to handle. She should then immediately

1) Email Dr. Lee and attempt to reach her by phone, and ask her to confirm/provide details about the allegations made in the blog post

2) Email the Biology-online editor and attempt to reach him by phone, and ask whether he in fact sent the email in question

Had the answer to point #2 been "yes", then Dr. Lee's blog post should have remained intact, and the next issue would be, what to do about SciAm's now troubled relationship with Biology-online.

Apparently the editor-in-chief did none of those things. After all, it was "Friday before a long weekend." Everyone has things to do... places to go... people to meet.

Sciam ain't what it used to be (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45117039)

I was an avid Sciam reader/subscriber until the early 70's.
Suddenly the magazine changed direction and started
playing politics. They also started shifting away from
some of the columns that were a treat to science geeks.

I lost both trust and interest in the way they deliver content.

The avalanche of outrage has already begun... (1)

beamdriver (554241) | 1 year,8 days | (#45117149)

...it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

Climate Alarmists In The Attic (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45117251)

Looks like the Confederate Army Climate Alarmists run deep at Biology-Online and Scientific American (which long ago became Psudo-scientific Anti-american).

I would be very happy to push the button to 'kill'm all' at Biology-Online and Scientific American.

Bug exterminators are most definitely needed these days.

QED

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