Yesterday I submitted a book chapter and a journal manuscript. I have two substantial blog posts I'm working on, but neither will be ready for this week. However, I have been slowly accumulating Posts of Awesome that I'd like to share. I want to highlight people, writing, and topics that need and deserve more attention in the science blogosphere. I mention a lot of these things on Twitter, but I know a lot of my followers don't use Twitter. So here goes.
If you have any interest in pregnancy, labor and birth, I do hope you're reading Science and Sensibility. S&S is a evidence-based blog written by practitioners and scientists, sponsored by Lamaze International. I really like their more technical, informative posts on labor and birth, and today's post on positioning during the second stage of labor is a winner. The writing is always accessible for layfolks, yet still provides great information for scientists and medical folk.
Remember that Wax et al (2010) article showing homebirth had a mortality rate three times higher than a hospital birth (and the sensational Lancet editorial)? A lot of folks came down hard on the article when it first came out, myself included, but two more pieces came out yesterday that call into question the authors' conclusions. The first issue is that there were actual mathematical errors in the data (meaning, the data was probably entered into an excel sheet incorrectly), the second is that they fundamentally did the meta-analysis wrong. Wrong. As in, according to one statistician who had no stake in the story or topic, so wrong as to overlook all its other problems.
A few more spicy tidbits: cosmetic breast surgery is on the rise, and one county in Florida has a 70% cesarean rate. Seventy. Percent. Due to some smart marketing and bad decisions, a treatment to prevent pre-term birth that used to be affordable is now more expensive than gold.
Something a little more fun: older female elephants make better leaders. Here's a video to go with the paper.
Finally, this is sort of ladybusiness, but as Dr. Isis points out, it should really be family (or even just human) business: Why it's alright to not be your mother, a guest post on AGORA.
The reverberations from Jesse Bering's post on homophobia as an adaptation continue. And the responses have been brilliant. I especially love Jeremy Yoder's take over at his blog, Denim and Tweed: An adaptive fairytale with no happy ending.
And then today, DeLene Beeland shared this great post on Twitter: How to Queer Ecology: One Goose at a Time over at Orion Magazine. This is a beautifully-written, thoughtful takedown of the naturalistic fallacy.
Other things to read right now
Danielle Lee has two great pieces worth reading (and I found them both because of Greg Laden): an article on the contribution of Henrietta Lacks, and the Black community, to cell culture, and a profile on Danielle in a natural hair series at Essence.com.
I read this article today by Gina Trapani on her work to make the technical world more friendly to women and other underrepresented or new folks.
An interesting interview and review of the book Consumption, by Kevin Patterson: How western diets are making the world sick.
A piece on Impostor Syndrome at SciAm (behind a paywall). I don't want to pathologize all underrepresented groups in science (because frankly, these feelings make sense in the context of environment, even if it's desirable to move beyond them), but issues around impostor syndrome resonate with me.
The video for the MLK, Jr session from Science Online 2011 is now up. Alberto Roca, Danielle Lee and David Kroll are the fabulous panelists.
Things I wish I didn't have to link to
Our amusement with Charlie Sheen just demonstrates how little we care about violence against women -- especially certain kinds of women. Read The Disposable Woman.
Skepchick Rebecca Watson shares some of her hate mail, and why she doesn't feel like internetting today: Why I deserved to be called an offensive bitch.
Pat Campbell reposted a twelve-year-old manifesto on gender and education that still holds true: The Gender Wars Must Cease.
Some LOLz and some cutes: a section I added because the last three links were so depressing
This first link doesn't exactly bring the LOLz, but is an enjoyable read: Female Science Professor continues her series on Academic Novels.
Some great apes from Zooborns: a two new baby orangs, and baby chimp. They put my maternal instinct into overdrive.
And a LOLcat via Scicurious: I'z in yer papers, messin' wit yer stats.
Wax, J., Lucas, F., Lamont, M., Pinette, M., Cartin, A., & Blackstone, J. (2010). Maternal and newborn outcomes in planned home birth vs planned hospital births: a metaanalysis American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.05.028
Editorial staff (2010). Home birth--proceed with caution. Lancet, 376 (9738) PMID: 20674705