monkey's uncle

notes on human ecology, population, and infectious disease

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On Global State Shifts

July 5th, 2012 · No Comments

This is a edited version of a post I sent out to the E-ANTH listserv in response to a debate over a recent paper in Nature and the response to it on the website “Clear Science,” written by Todd Meyers. In this debate, it was suggested that the Barnosky paper is the latest iteration of […]

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Tags: Climate Change · Human Ecology

Three Questions About Norms

March 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

Well, it certainly has been a while since I’ve written anything here. Life has gotten busy with new projects, new responsibilities, etc. Yesterday, I participated in a workshop on campus sponsored by the Woods Institute for the Environment, the Young Environmental Scholars Conference. I was asked to stand-in for a faculty member who had to […]

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Tags: Anthropology · Conservation · Demography · Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · Teaching

Jennifer Burney Lecture

March 24th, 2011 · No Comments

I’ve spent the better part of the day editing web pages as I prepare to teach two courses this spring. Given that I’ve more-or-less wasted the day with necessary but not especially intellectually rewarding tasks, I thought that I would take a moment to post something really important and scientifically interesting. Jennifer Burney, of Stanford’s […]

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Tags: Biofuels · Diet & Nutrition · Human Ecology

Update on Stanford Workshop on Migration and Adaptation

March 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

Since my last update, we have added another faculty member to the workshop on Migration and Adaptation. Loren Landau, the Director of the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS) (formerly Forced Migration Studies Programme, FMSP) at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa will be joining us to discuss conceptual issues in understanding African migration […]

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Tags: Demography · Human Ecology

New Formal Demography Workshop: Migration and Adaptation

March 10th, 2011 · 1 Comment

We will be having another of our occasional Stanford Workshops in Formal Demography this April 28th-30th. The theme this time will be “Migration and Adaptation,” and we have a terrific lineup of speakers coming. As in the past, the workshop is funded by NICHD and receives substantial suport from the Stanford Institute for Research in […]

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Tags: Anthropology · Demography · Human Ecology · Teaching

Winter Weirding

January 12th, 2011 · No Comments

As I listen to the deluge of reports of horrible winter weather from friends back on the east coast, I came across this video by Peter Sinclair from his YouTube series, “Climate Denial Crock of the Week.” The part I find most compelling is the animation toward the end of this short video showing what […]

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Tags: Human Ecology

Uncertainty and Fat Tails

May 5th, 2009 · 4 Comments

A major challenge in science writing is how to effectively communicate real, scientific uncertainty. ┬áSometimes we just don’t know have enough information to make accurate predictions. ┬áThis is particularly problematic in the case of rare events in which the potential range of outcomes is highly variable. Two topics that are close to my heart come […]

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Tags: Human Ecology · Infectious Disease · Statistics

On Freeman Dyson's Climate-Change Skepticism

March 26th, 2009 · 4 Comments

A nice piece by Nicholas Dawidoff in the New York Times Magazine this week details the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson’s skepticism about the dangers of global warming. It seems that Mr. Dyson is concerned about the quality of the science that underlies the current scientific consensus about its perils. One gathers from reading the Dawidoff […]

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Tags: Human Ecology