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Neuron Culture

David Dobbs on science, nature, and culture.



dobbspic I write articles on science, medicine, nature, culture and other matters for the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Slate, National Geographic, Scientific American Mind, and other publications, and am working on my fourth book, The Orchid and the Dandelion, which expands on my recent December 2009 Atlantic article. My previous books include Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral, which traces the strangest but most forgotten controversy in Darwin's career — an elemental dispute running some 75 years.

You're encouraged to subscribe to Neuron Culture by email; see more of my workat my main website; or check out my catch-all-streams Tumblr log.


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    Gleanings - mind & brain, law and war, media, bad trains

    Category: Art

    Mind, brain, and body (including those gene things) While reading Wolpert's review of Greenberg's book, I found that the Guardian has a particularly rich trove of writings and resources on depression , some of it drawing on resources at BMJ (the journal formerly known as the British Medical Journal). ... The backchannel is the twitter stream that audience members now rather routinely produce while a conference speaker or panel holds forth at the front of the room; it carries hideous dangers for the unwary, unprepared, or just plain unlikeable speaker.

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    Gleanings - storms, vegetables, violence, grace, and a correction

    As alert reader Alex Witze pointed out , these photos were taken by stormchaser Mike Hollingshead in Nebraska and Kansas in 2002 and 2004, and have passed around the net in other guises ever since. ... He has some doozies.    You may be shocked but not surprised to hear that Insurance Company Dropped Customers With HIV .

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    The day's gleanings

    Jerry Coyne relates that Birds are getting smaller. Most students use Wikipedia, avoid telling profs about it When I talk...

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    Patty's Day Roundup

    BoingBoing loves The Open Laboratory: The Best in Science Writing on Blogs 2009, founded/published by the ever-present Bora Zivkovic and...

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    Gold in the tweetstream

    I'll try doing this now and then, maybe regularly, to gather the more notable tweets I get in my twitter...

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    Hits of the week past

    Category: Brains and minds

    The week's best -- with new features!

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    Does the "orchid-dandelion" metaphor work for you? My duel with David Shenk

    Category: Books

    David Shenk thinks my orchid-dandelion metaphor for temperamental plasticity is fatally flowed. I disagree. We duel. You decide.

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    Top Five Posts at Neuron Culture in November

    Category: Books

    PTSD, orchid children, military suicides, coral isles, and adjuvants. That was a SLOW month at Neuron Culture.

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    Coming sort of soon to a bookstore near you: "The Orchid and the Dandelion"

    Category: Books

    I can finally broadcast the news with which I've been bursting for two weeks now: Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt, publisher of many a fine book over the decades, will be publishing "The Orchid and the Dandelion" (working title), in which I'll explore further the emerging "orchid-dandelion hypothesis" I wrote about in my recent Atlantic story.

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    "YouTube! That's why I became a writer!"

    Category: Books

    This kills me -- but maybe just because I've written books. (Oh yeah -- the links to the books. First two here. Reef Madness here. Buy 'em. Read 'em. They're better than the stuff you're reading now.)

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