My Friday links posts were getting a little long so from now on I’ll publish when there are enough links.

We may be able to detect dark matter with, of all things, DNA. I love it when two seemingly very distinct sciences meet up like this.

A report on the economics of GM Bt (*Bacillus thuringiensis*) cotton adoption by small Indian farmers.

On the merits of science literacy.

Why the Higgs Boson matters.

Philcoxia spp. have underground leaves with which they catch and eat worms.

I think myself brave when I eat an oyster, but this moss eats 5,000 year old faeces.

184MP composite picture of Martian terrain. Beautiful.

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Sam Clifford

said:Regarding scientific literacy: step one – learn mathematics.

Luisa

said:I think that the Australian secondary education system does a reasonable job of ensuring that at least the kids who stay until Grade 12 see some maths. Unfortunately, that maths is rarely applied to science. It’s seen as some esoteric craft which has no place in reality.

Sam Clifford

said:And you don’t have to study maths in senior. When we went through school, Maths A had a reputation of being “vege maths”, Maths B was “normal maths” and Maths C was “egghead maths”. So if you had a clear interest in being a physicist or economist you probably would have done Maths C and seen some cool stuff but the majority of students would have been exposed to either some very abstract statistical ideas (Z scores) and improper integration without much of a motivation.

Luisa

said:Just checking out the syllabi (they’re a few years old but from memory they’re similar to the updated version), I think Maths B is probably the least practical, between A and B. I don’t recall ever learning anything in Maths B that I thought I’d ever use in real life (a maths degree obviously wasn’t the plan at that stage).