How do you respond to the charge that something is “dumbed down”?

As a science communicator and ex-science teacher, the most common criticism I hear from academic scientists about my work is that it’s “dumbed down.” I just read the same phrase in this fascinating but infuriating account in PLoS ONE of the results of a survey of biologists and physicists about science outreach. I had such … Continue reading How do you respond to the charge that something is “dumbed down”?

The Hunger Games: fiction that brings out racist, sexist reality

Too big.

I haven’t read The Hunger Games or seen the movie yet, but I’m soaking up lots of sociological analyses and outraged reactions on teh Internets. A story about a fictional, horrendous society seems to be spurring reactions that highlight real-world heinousness. First, I read that some people consider Jennifer Lawrence to be ‘too big’ to … Continue reading The Hunger Games: fiction that brings out racist, sexist reality