Frederick Sanger, the two-time Nobel Prize winner, died on Tuesday at the age of 95:
It was remarkable what he accomplished in his career:
Dr. Sanger won his first Nobel Prize, in chemistry, in 1958 for showing how amino acids link together to form insulin. The discovery gave scientists the tools to analyze any protein in the body.
In 1980 he received his second Nobel, also in chemistry, for inventing a method of “reading” the molecular letters that make up the genetic code. This discovery was crucial to the development of biotechnology drugs and provided the basic tool kit for decoding the entire human genome two decades later.
The reason I bring this up is because the New York Times included an interesting tidbit in his obituary:
Kickstarter Animation Project Looking For $27K To Produce More Of These Enjoyable, Accessible Videos About Evolution
In a nutshell, their objective is to overcome the tendency of most people to “shut off” any learning and thinking about evolution. Stated Clearly identifies the three key factors in that popular rejection as a general lack of interest in science, the fact that evolution can be difficult to understand, and the perception that evolution is “offensive” (after all, some people get upset about being told we’re all related to monkeys, and many see evolution as a middle finger to religious beliefs).
For those who don’t know, Quora is a question-and-answer web platform where anyone can log in, ask any question to the community, and potentially have it answered. It’s kind of a Wikipedia for Q&A. The questions can be on any topic, from the highly technical, to the superfluous, to the hilarious (see my posts on Quora questions regarding Starbucks on the Death Star and the geopolitics of Super Mario). As on platforms like Reddit, users can upvote and downvote both questions and answers to better curate the content. It’s a great way to get yourself lost for hours on end and destroy your productivity.
Anyway, this question came up anonymously about Quora itself, and it’s relevant to our little skepto-atheist community:
Are there any Quora policies regarding pseudoscience? If not, should there be one? Let’s discuss. . . . this question is directed towards a Quora moderation perspective.
Wow, what a great question. Quora can’t and doesn’t make any claims to hosting “definitive” answers to anything, but it’s true that an open platform like this easily provides those who shill nonsense, from homeopathy to the paranormal, with a soapbox and with an air of legitimacy.