Monday, March 31, 2014

Neither "skateboarding" nor an "accident"

Letter submitted to the Baltimore Sun:


Dear Baltimore Sun,

I was disappointed to see your headline for the story about U.S. Naval Academy midshipman Hans Loewen's untimely death ("Midshipman dies after skateboarding accident", March 30).  From the family memorial, it sounds like Mr. Loewen was run over by a car.

Americans consistently and significantly underestimate the dangers posed by motor vehicles, and headlines like this one contribute to this public misperception and the consequent underinvestment in public transit infrastructure, difficulty in passing distracted driving laws, and, of course, tragic and entirely preventable deaths of pedestrians, cyclists, and skateboarders, not to mention occupants of other motor vehicles.


(As far as my own title, I certainly don't mean to suggest that whoever was driving the car intended to kill anyone, but I do very much want to reinforce that crashes aren't accidents.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

new ACS Chemical Biology Community blogging gig

I'm very honored to be blogging for the ACS Chemical Biology Community on the ACS Network (and no, you don't have to be an ACS member to read my blog posts).  My first post, "So you're just going to sit at home?", is all about how looking for a job is a full-time job.