Monday, March 3, 2008

AAAS Annual meeting roundup

The annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (the organization that publishes the august Science Magazine) came to a close earlier this month. There were a bunch of interesting talks, announcements, developments and results. Perhaps the most publicized of these was the announcement of the National Academy of Engineering's list of the 14 grand engineering challenges of the 21st century. (The coolest of which, by far, was reverse-engineering the brain). Also relevant to this blog was that Richard Lewontin (a notoriously grumpy critic of evolutionary psychology and sociobiology) reportedly gave a talk in which he argued that we know nothing about how the brain evolved. (Michael Balter responded in Science).

The AAAS has made a couple of videos of the meeting available for free, but unfortunately the audio recordings made of the whole conference are for sale, not free. (The AAAS, I suspect, ought to read Chris Anderson's fantastic new Wired piece on why free is the future of business). Luckily, Science's news blog contains plenty of information and Science's podcast did a series of short episodes from the meeting (I highly recommend, by the way, the episode on the evolution of morality):

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