Category: "optimism"

service to society

January 28th, 2017
Among his many accomplishments, Hood invented, commercialized, and developed multiple chemical tools that address biological complexity, including the automated DNA sequencer which spearheaded the Human Genome Project. more »

give directly

December 14th, 2013
who better than the principles to know what it is they need to improve their situation? While a cow might suit some people, a new roof will better fit the needs of others, and a small motorcycle could make possible a small taxi or delivery business for someone else. more »

hope for the drug war

September 29th, 2013
... another figure in the international police establishment coming out in favor of major reform to the prohibition of drugs ... more »

up with science

July 20th, 2013
I have chided Science Friday's Ira Flatow for his tendency to equate interest in research on a given topic to the necessity that the best (or perhaps only) way to accomplish that end is via government agencies and the political process. This post points out private alternatives that are becoming a reasonable alternative to support to research scientists. more »

getting better

March 19th, 2013
... we live in a historically unique period of peaceability. It is not the first time I've been exposed to this sort of analysis ... more »


December 28th, 2012
I listen to a few podcasts, when I'm driving or walking around the city, doing laundry or working in the yard. Among them I find econtalk to be informative and engaging, due in part to the in-depth and calm discourse of the interview format between the diverse assortment of guests and host Russ Roberts. more »

two educational podcasts

September 24th, 2012
In the same week I found two distinct but complementary takes on the question of whether there might be better ways to improve education among the poorest in our communities. more »


September 19th, 2012
Among the recent news is a report in Nature Materials out of Charles Lieber's lab at Harvard, describing what they call "nanoelectronic scaffolds for synthetic tissues."  This sort of topic is liable for all sorts of hyperbolic rambling, so I'll try to restrain myself. more »

optimism on econtalk

June 5th, 2012
Current events have me prone to pessimism, but this podcast encourages a longer view that observes large improvement in the human condition, with dramatic gains in worldwide standard of living, lifespan, infant mortality, and other measures, tracking co… more »