Coronavirus, Regenerative Agriculture and Renewable Energy

I’ve written recently about our pressing need to think globally about wet markets and the bushmeat trade. Aside from their devastating impact on wildlife, these practices are superhighways for diseases to enter the human population, with catastrophic effects to health and the global economy. While we’re currently experiencing this with Covid-19, it’s also been the … More Coronavirus, Regenerative Agriculture and Renewable Energy

Natural History and a Unified Museum Definition

Much is being said within the museum industry about the definition of museums. ICOM is considering the current definition and whether it needs to be rethought. I think a review is worthwhile, regardless of whether changes are ultimately made. Robust thinking about museums (or any field, in fact), whether related to practice or theory, should … More Natural History and a Unified Museum Definition

Art, Science and the Intersection of Knowledge

I’ve always loved this painting. Vertumnus looks serenely at the viewer, a slight smile making you think he knows something you’d like to. It’s a clever work of Mannerism, seamlessly weaving a complex array of perfectly rendered fruits and other plants into the portrait of a human face full of character. The portrait is of … More Art, Science and the Intersection of Knowledge

What’s wrong with a gay facial recognition program

Last September, there was a brief flurry of activity over the idea of a program that can distinguish homosexual versus heterosexual faces, based on their online dating image (see this, for instance, from the BBC). It started shortly before a scientific article was published by Stanford’s Yilun Wang Michal Kosinski in the online journal Open … More What’s wrong with a gay facial recognition program

Counting Your Chickens: The World’s Most Numerous Bird

If you Google “the world’s most numerous bird,” you will likely be given articles about the Red-Billed Quelea (Quelea quelea), also known as the Red-Billed Weaver Bird or Red-Billed Dioch that lives across most of sub-Saharan Africa. It’s considered the most numerous wild bird on earth,  the population sometimes peaking at 1½ billion individuals. Individually, … More Counting Your Chickens: The World’s Most Numerous Bird