Home | Neorenaissance - A blog from the intersection of science, politics and the creative culture

Is the new Tesla Model S right for you?

The man revolutionized the way we generate and use elecrticity. The car is revolutionizing the way we make, buy and drive cars.

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 28, 2013

This week, I bought the world's game-changing automobile. Here's my review.

Not Your Granddaddy's Garbage Burners: Why Burning Waste for Energy Fights Climate Change

The technology is cleaner and safer than generally believed

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Jun 06, 2013

VIDEO: A Presidential Debate on Climate

Climate change, science and the next four years.

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 01, 2012

Thursday morning I moderated my first live presidential debate, on Capitol Hill.

Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy

Shawn Lawrence Otto | Scientific American

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 01, 2012

The United States faced down authoritarian governments on the left and right. Now it may be facing an even greater challenge from within

Language Intelligence: A Gladiator’s Guide to Eloquence

A remarkable guide to maximizing the power of words

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 11, 2012

Language Intelligence speaks to that urge that we all have to convince others of the rightness of our ideas, and shows how the masters do it in concrete, clear, and concise language.

Republican Meteorologist to Mitt Romney: How You Can Help Me and My Family

My Top Ten Reasons for Republicans to Accept Reality on the Climate

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Sep 10, 2012

Nationally-known meteorologist Paul Douglas has a challenge for the Republican presidential nominee

A Legitimate Doofus's Timeless Principles

Physicians for Life Appears to be Behind Akin's Confusion

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Aug 20, 2012

Rep. Akin's comments have their roots in mid eighteenth-century ignorance

Shocking New Oil Propaganda Plan to Fool Americans

ATI plans dummy businesses and fake billboards to kill wind energy

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | May 08, 2012

The Guardian has unearthed a shocking new propaganda plan intended to turn the American public against wind energy in the 2012 election cycle.

Who would be the best moderator for a presidential science debate?

Who has the media presence, debate chops, policy understanding and science literacy to lift America to a new standard?

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Apr 06, 2012

Both Obama and McCain attended the Saddleback faith forum because, some say, it was an honor to be associated with Pastor Rick Warren among the mainstream grassroots faith communities. Who could moderate a presidential science debate?

New Poll: Even religious voters overwhelmingly want candidates to debate science

Consensus among Protestants, Catholics for science debates, science-based policies; Twice as many think the US not spending enough on alternative energy as do defense

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Apr 03, 2012

It turns out that the presidential campaign staffers have it completely, one hundred and eighty degrees wrong when it comes to science. Overwhelming majorities of American voters want the candidates to debate the big science issues facing the country.

A Message from a Republican Meteorologist on Climate Change

Acknowledging Climate Science Doesn’t Make You A Liberal

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 28, 2012

You can’t prove that any one of Barry Bonds' 762 home runs was sparked by alleged steroid use. But it did increase his “base state”, raising the overall odds of hitting a home run. You can’t point to any one weather extreme and say “that’s climate change”, but a warmer atmosphere increases the potential for historic spikes in temperature, and more frequent weather extremes.

Americans Deserve a Presidential Science Debate

In an age when the major US challenges revolve around science, we deserve candidates who will share their views on it

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Mar 19, 2012

America needs and deserves a president who can show that he or she understands the importance of basing public policy on the best available evidence, as the founders intended.

Huntsman Goes "Crazy"

"There are questions about the validity of (climate) science" Huntsman Says At Heritage Foundation Event

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Dec 06, 2011

"The scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description of explanation about what might lie beneath all of this." But former Bush economic chief Doug Holtz-Eakin says GOP politicians are taking "positions that are divorced from any reality on the policy and from their own history.”

Congressman to Witness: 'You Just Be Quiet!' (Video)

Rep. Don Young abuses noted historian Dougles Brinkley in stunning display

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 19, 2011

A heated exchange between two congressmen and a historian they didn't want to hear from shows what happens to democracy when knowledge is no longer the arbiter of what is true, but is simply another "way of knowing."

Republicans Cut Top Science Office by 1/3

"Compromise" cut in Congress down from 55% in House bill

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Nov 16, 2011

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) budget by a whopping 32 percent. The cuts "will have real consequences on OSTP's operations," said spokesperson Rick Weiss.

Rustlings From Republican Environmentalists

By guest blogger Barry Bickmore, a Republican geoscientist at Brigham Young University

By Guest Blogger | Nov 16, 2011

Let’s face it–it’s a bad year for Republican Environmentalists like me. About half of the field of Republican presidential candidates once promoted the idea of addressing climate change in some way, but all but Jon Huntsman have backed off this stance to one extent or another.

The UnAmerican War on Science

Today's antiscience politicians are not going to take America where we need to go

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 27, 2011

America didn't keep the world safe for democracy by pandering to ideological dark agers - we got ahead by using hard-headed science. It's time we get back to it, and start putting America first again.

A Global Warming Primer for Skeptics

Multiple independent lines of data show similar trends

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 25, 2011

Most skeptical conservatives are reason-minded thinkers who are simply too busy to assess vast datasets. Those people should consider the following charts.

Herman Cain Joins Mad Tea Party

GOP hopeful joins nutty crowd in revisionist history and denial of science

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 14, 2011

Making a move in GOP presidential primary politics has come to include taking obligatory antiscience positions. Candidates are making increasingly outlandish statements - statements that once would have disqualified serious candidates for president but now are oddly celebrated. You stop in Iowa, and New Hampshire, and then you swear on the bible that global warming is poppycock.

Oh, Newt. Newt, Newt, Newt. Seriously?

Newt Gingrich, a supporter of Science Debate, goes antiscience

By Shawn Lawrence Otto | Oct 04, 2011

I was surprised last week when Gingrich argued that embryonic stem cell research is “killing children in order to have research materials.”