COD Library Blog

Pew Research Report on Science and the Public

The Pew Center is launching a new research series on Science and Society. The executive summary of the report covers topics such as vaccination, climate change, offshore oil drilling, and genetically modified foods. It covers the gap in perceptions on this topic between AAS scientists and members of the public.

The Pew Center explains why it's digging deeper into perceptions of science by listing the following:

Many Americans hope that advances in science will improve people’s lives and enhance the economy. They are anxious to understand what innovations will disrupt existing daily activities and business routines. Policy arguments about science-related issues have held center stage in the Obama era, starting with protracted debates over medical care and health insurance and extending into concerns over energy and the environment, policies around food, challenges created by digital technology disruptions, and whether educators are preparing today’s K-12 students for a future with greater requirements for science and math literacy. Check the rest of the explanation here.

The report should provide an interesting conversation starter among your office mates and students. Happy reading!


Free Ebook on Science Education

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Want to check out the core standards for Science Education? The National Academies Press has issued A framework for K-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas, a free ebook. You can find the ebook in our catalog as well.

Here's the publisher description:

"Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity's most pressing current and future challenges. The United States' position in the global economy is declining, in part because U.S. workers lack fundamental knowledge in these fields. To address the critical issues of U.S. competitiveness and to better prepare the workforce, A Framework for K-12 Science Education proposes a new approach to K-12 science education that will capture students' interest and provide them with the necessary foundational knowledge in the field."

In order to access the ebook, you'll need to create a username and password. Enjoy!


Valentines for Vets

The COD Photo Club and photography students are pleased to present "Valentines for Veterans" --FREE Portraits for ALL Military Families (Active, Reserve and Retired Servicemen and Women
are all welcome to participate).

Please email JoAnn Hartley at to make your appointment.


Replicability, Part 2

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Have we finally hit critical mass with concerns about replicability and fraudulent research? Just about a month ago, Science announced that it'll be working to find new ways to highlight the data behind published articles in 2015.

Check out the links below to get a sense of where the conversation is headed.

  • Yesterday, the Washington Post ran an article summarizing instances of scientific fraud and replicability concerns.
  • Just this morning, NPR played a story talking about publication biases and how that affects research. Listen to the story here.
  • Read a fascinating article in Cancer Letter about Duke University brushing aside the concerns of a medical student who believed his lab was altering data. As the lab had received a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and was involved in research to match cancer treatments to afflicted patients, this had a huge impact.

See the earlier replicability blog post.

Image Credit: "Research Data Management" by janneke staaks - Own work.

Citizen Science, Part 2


Looking for a way to help your students participate in scientific research? In addition to the sources mentioned in my earlier post, check out the Zooniverse, which lists projects in fields such as Space, Climate, Nature, Biology, and Physics.

Take a few minutes to explore current research projects such as classifying the surface of Mars, modeling Earth's climate using old shipping logs, or analyzing cancer data.

Questions? As always, contact me for more information.


Technology for Checkout

Blue snowball microphoneDid you know COD students, faculty, and staff can checkout a wide variety of technology including laptops, multimedia peripherals, and other devices from the COD Library? Visit our Technology for Checkout page and find out what we have available and how you can get it in your hands today!

Photo credit: Sergey Galyonkin (CC BY-SA 2.0)

New Books for the New Year

Looking for some books to read before the semester really heats up?

There are two new options here that might serve difference purposes in your teaching.

The first, Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters and More, might be an interesting resource if you're thinking of changing up class assignments. Want a cogent guide to how to help students learn to structure a paper presentation or a power point? Try assigning a chapter or so of this.

The second, Teaching Students to Think Like Scientists: Strategies Aligned with the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards demonstrates how teachers are being trained to teach science in the younger grades. No, this book won't be shaping next year's students. But in 2-3 years, it may be.