We previously We discussed recent publications by academics arguing that math is a form of white privilege and male domination. Now, Marci Bianco, the communications manager of Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, has found a new manifestation of patriarchy: space exploration. In the article on NBC.com, Bianco declares that “the patriarchal race to colonize Mars is just another example of male entitlement.” The efforts reveals a “Columbusing attitude.” The movie The Martian will now be renamed “The Patriarch.”
We have been following the overwhelming evidence of drastic climate change, but few studies are as striking as the most report from NOAA’s Arctic research program. The annual Arctic Report Card that we have reached the highest loss of Arctic ice in 1500 years. Recently discussed the controversial statements of Administration officials like Energy Secretary Rick Perry on the U.S. offering a better future through fossil fuels. These studies show a potentially catastrophic future as our climate continues to change exponentially.
As many of you know, I love the NASA site and all things associated with space exploration. In that vein, I had to share this photo of the first meteorite found on another planet. I could come up with a better name than “Heat Shield Rock” (like Rocky McRock Face or something) but those NASA people are a bit literal. There is a stark beauty of such objects, hardened and shaped by billions of years. I also still get a thrill of being able to see these pictures from another world. While this picture was taken in 2015, there are some new pictures that are truly record breaking in terms of distance below. These images should remind the public of the tremendous breakthroughs being made by NASA and its partners with limited funding, including significant cuts. Indeed, as Trump pushes to make the International Space Station a private or corporate effort, we need to keep in mind the windfall of new information that has come with each of these programs.
History has shown that if you want to find new land, ask a Sooner to find it.
Scientists at the University of Oklahoma found evidence that there are approximately 2,000 extragalactic planets for every one star beyond the Milky Way. Some appear as small as the moon and other as large as Jupiter. The study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, used information from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and a planet detection technique called microlensing.
We recently discussed how University of Illinois math professor Rochelle Gutierrez triggered a national controversy over her work “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods” in which she criticized math classes as a “tool of whiteness.” Now, CUNY Professor Laurie Rubel has published a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Mathematics Education arguing that the concepts of meritocracy and “color-blindness” are ideological precepts that work against minorities. It is a worrisome trend among academics to challenge even the most objective fields of advancement as requiring a more race-conscious approach.
We have hit another milestone today with over 33,000,000 views. We are also expected to reach 35,000 followers on Twitter. That hardly makes us competition for the largest sites but it is still an impressive collection of people seeking a place for civil but passionate discourse on legal and policy issues of our time (and perhaps a few wacky stories). We often use these milestones to look at the current profile of the blog and its supporters around the world.
As always, I want to offer special thanks for our weekend contributors: Mike Appleton, Larry Rafferty, Darren Smith, Kimberly Dienes, and Cara Gallagher (particularly Darren who continues help up with periodic technical problems etc).
I particularly want to thank our regular commentators and readers. We try to keep this blog as an open forum with as little interference or monitoring of the comments as possible. Given our free speech orientation, we try not to delete comments and, for that reason, we are deeply appreciative of how most people avoid personal or offensive comments in debating these issues. We have had to delete a handful of comments with personal attacks or profanity but the number remains quite low for a blog of this size. The success of this blog is due to the fact that we offer something more than the all-too-common troll-driven, angry, and insulting commentary of the Internet. Thank you for voluntarily assuming restraint over the tenor and content of your comments. Continue reading
University of Illinois math professor Rochelle Gutierrez has triggered a national controversy over her recent anthology for math educators entitled, “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods.” Gutierrez suggests that mathematic tends to perpetuate white privilege that must be actively addressed in classrooms. For many, math is one subject that was viewed inherently objective and unbiased in its emphasis. Albert Einstein and others saw beauty in math. He stated “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” Yet, Gutierrez appears to see the “politics that mathematics brings” and white privilege. Continue reading