Thursday, June 17, 2010

Notes for June 17th

  • One of the big struggles in science is balancing holistic understanding of whole systems with reductionist understanding of particular mechanisms.  Dave Strayer seemed to be talking about this in his book on mussel ecology, and this speech is talking about the same thing in medicine.  I find it far more terrifying when discussed in the context of medicine.
  • The difficulty and implications of cryptic biodiversity.
  • The process of leasing federal land for solar farms is confusing, and apparently expensive.  But not so expensive that people aren't doing it.  From what I've read, mineral extraction, by contrast, is basically subsidized by the government because it is so cheap to lease land for that purpose.
  • Using small mammals to understand why all the big animals went extinct around 12,000 years ago.  Surprisingly, the results are interpreted as supporting the climate change scenario over the human impacts scenario.

No comments: