Hanging out on corners

I realised this morning that I’ve been delinquent in doing my part to promote an exciting new Occam’s Typewriter venture – a group blog, Occam’s Corner, on the Guardian’s science blogs network. (I did add the feed to the “Latest posts from Occam’s Typewriter” widget near the top of my right sidebar, but I never actually mentioned it on-blog). Unlike the main OT site it’s focused 100% on science, but just like OT there’s a great variety of well-written articles (plus mine) from all the familiar faces you’ve come to know and love. Check it out! The comments don’t stay open for very long, so if you get a wee bit behind you find yourself unable to contribute to the conversation, but everything up there is well worth reading – and the comments I’ve got so far haven’t been as scary as I’d feared 🙂

My first contribution, “Genetic screening: curiosity killed the CATG“, discussed my ambivalence about the kind of personal genetic screening offered by companies like 23andMe; the title of today’s post, “Why I’m feeling so crabby about cancer conspiracy theories“, speaks for itself.

Many thanks to Jenny Rohn, Richard P. Grant, and Stephen Curry for getting us into the Guardian stable of blogs (as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up reading the Guardian so this is kind of a big deal for me); Jenny for proofreading my articles; and Richard for very patiently dealing with a combination of human error and some kind of weird formatting conversion glitch to get my latest article submitted 🙂

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in blog buddies, blog roll, cancer research, meta, quacks, rants, science. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Hanging out on corners

  1. rpg says:

    You’re welcome 🙂

  2. Steve Caplan says:

    “and the comments I’ve got so far haven’t been as scary as I’d feared”

    Try writing about the middle-east and see what scary comments you receive!

  3. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Yeah, I stayed well away from those threads 🙂

    So far I’m just biased, a “specialistette” (whut?!), an industry shill, condescending, snide, insecure, and cowardly. But my favourite insult is that I’m a bad scientist because I prefer reading fiction to non-fiction in my spare time.

  4. chall says:

    I want to be a specialistte too. Anything that ends with -tte can’t be bad now, can it? 😉

    I do agree on giggling to the absurdity of being a bad scientist bc you like reading other books in spare time. Wonder if they say that to everyone? (what? you cook in spare time. surely that means you’re a bad female scientist…. oh wait…)

  5. Nina says:

    “spare time”??? The best (?) insult” I ever heard, after I’d said that I’d written a book chapter in my spare time, was that a scientist doesn’t have spare time. Implying that if I thought I had spare time, I was clearly not working hard enough. I was in the position to reply that if I sacrificed eating and sleeping time to write the book chapter, clearly I was working enough to justify my existence.

    On a related note, the same person also told me a story how they were discussing hobbies with other scientists at a conference, and one of them asked the others: “You have time to have hobbies?!?!”

    So that was all off-topic. I loved your curiosity CATG post Cath.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Loved the cancer conspiracy theory post Cath! I came across one the other day for Dichloroacetic acid (on pinterest for heaven’s sake! someone actually made a graphic that you could pin!) and how big pharma won’t invest in the phase III trials because they can’t patent it, etc, etc, etc. It took all my strength to not leave a snarky comment or even some advice about safety risks on self-medication.

  7. Hermitage says:

    My favorite was where all the nutters did a high-speed u-turn to run away from you very logical point that the eviiiiil scientists hiding the cure seem to be too stupid to keep themselves by being done in by cancer. The logic was too strong with that one, I suppose!

  8. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    I was very amused to receive an email yesterday from a collaborator I know only from our email correspondence, saying “Hi Cath, as part of our conspiracy to avoid telling everyone we’ve cured cancer so we can live lives of luxury, we’re ready to submit our first batch of samples” 😀

    Chall, I think Nina is right – I’m not supposed to have any spare time…

    Elizabeth, that keeps popping up on my Facebook feed. It’s like a bad penny – it keeps turning up, approximately every three months!

    Hermitage, the nutters are back in force today, citing Burzynski as a noble alternative to the for-profit pharma industry. Riiiiight, that’s why his treatments cost his patients thousands of dollars and haven’t been proven to work…

    • Grant says:

      Not only Burzynski, but also that ‘acid theory’ thing, citing Warburg. (There’s even people that take their lead from this to believe that baking soda will cure cancer…)

      • Cath@VWXYNot? says:

        Warburg won a Nobel, so it must be true! And “alkalising” your diet will cure cancer! Even though the body has exquisitely sensitive pH homeostasis mechanisms in place! And modifying your systemic pH magically won’t kill normal cells!

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