New words – 27 May 2013

brain porn noun informal the excessive use of references to brain studies and neuroscience in the popular media

As a journalist and cultural critic, I applaud the backlash against what is sometimes called brain porn, which raises important questions about this reductionist, sloppy thinking and our willingness to accept seemingly neuroscientific explanations for, well, everything.

[New York Times (US broadsheet) 25 November 2012]

frackademia noun academic research that is funded or influenced by the fossil fuels industry, especially companies involved in fracking

Weeks after SUNY Buffalo’s upper-level administration gave the Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI) the boot due to its gas industry public relations effort masked as a ‘study,’ University of Texas-Austin’s (UT-Austin) administration has somewhat followed suit for its own ‘frackademia’ study.

[http://my.firedoglake.com 7 December 2012]

lab lit noun literature that includes some detailed scientific information as part of the story

In Lab Lit, Fiction Meets Science of the Real World

[New York Times (US broadsheet, headline) 4 December 2012]

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