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NCSE's 2015 Friend of Darwin Award Goes to Neil Shubin: Scientist, Author, Movie Star, and Storyteller

Ann Reid | Posted 03.24.2015 | Science
Ann Reid

Early in his career, Shubin became fixated on finding fossils that would illuminate the emergence of tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates) from fish ancestors more than 300 million years ago. To that end, he and his collaborators devoted many years of painstaking, uncomfortable work.

Roald Dahl, The BFG and the Measles

Ann Reid | Posted 02.19.2015 | Education
Ann Reid

If people are afraid -- and it is fear that underlies the refusal to vaccinate -- they don't need to be badgered or sneered at, they need to be reassured. And that reassurance comes best from someone they trust. If not Roald Dahl, perhaps an older person who might remember what it was like before vaccines.

Goodbye, Tom Magliozzi, and Thanks for All the Science

Ann Reid | Posted 01.06.2015 | Education
Ann Reid

To all of the well-deserved praise being showered on the late Tom Magliozzi, I'd like to add this: thanks for bringing science to millions of listeners along with a hefty serving of laughter.

Buzz: Say It Ain't So!

Ann Reid | Posted 01.03.2015 | Science
Ann Reid

The conclusions of climate science come from the same scientific process that put you on the moon. Turn that formidable brain of yours to a dispassionate consideration of the scientific evidence. Talk to some climate scientists.

Thank a Teacher Thursday: White House Edition

Ann Reid | Posted 12.31.2014 | Education
Ann Reid

As Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science, Jo Handelsman, Ph.D. has taken on major challenges in addition to her academic research. When she sees a need, she dives in -- usually by applying a stiff dose of science.

Thank a Teacher Thursday!

Ann Reid | Posted 12.16.2014 | Education
Ann Reid

Somewhere along the line -- in middle school, high school, or perhaps as late as college -- a science teacher captured Nobel Prize winners' imaginations, nurtured their curiosity, or provided an outlet for their passion for solving mysteries. That teacher changed their lives and, by virtue of their discoveries, changed our lives, too.

Well Said! Defusing the Fear of Airborne Ebola

Ann Reid | Posted 12.03.2014 | Science
Ann Reid

Basic evolutionary principles suggest that Ebola is extremely unlikely to evolve the capacity to spread via the respiratory route.

Well Said! Carbon Dioxide Made Simple -- and Personal

Ann Reid | Posted 12.02.2014 | Green
Ann Reid

Burning fossil fuels. Rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Global warming. The 1-2-3 of climate change. As the GEICO ads say "everybody knows that!" But surveys suggest that, in fact, many people don't understand this simple relationship.

The Curious Incident of the Fly in the Night

Ann Reid | Posted 10.19.2014 | Science
Ann Reid

It is a given in science that results should be reproducible. That's why authors are required to provide detailed experimental methods, and must agree to share unique reagents, cell lines, or software tools with researchers.

Scientific Integrity: Please SBoRE Me with the Details

Ann Reid | Posted 10.05.2014 | Science
Ann Reid

At times there are certain problems with published research results. One could be forgiven for drawing the conclusion that there is something rotten in the research enterprise.

The Occasional Evolutionist III: Coral Reefs Down for the Count

Ann Reid | Posted 07.01.2014 | Science
Ann Reid

Life is resilient. Evolution provides a lot of tools for adaptation. But organisms can only change so much, so fast. The fossil record provides thousands of examples of organisms that could not adapt to abruptly changing conditions and became extinct.

Trust Your Gut

Ann Reid | Posted 06.24.2014 | Science
Ann Reid

Quick: What do you say when someone tells you that your entire body is covered in bacteria? A) "Yuck!" or B) "Yay!" If your answer was A, you're not alone, but your gut would certainly disagree.

The Occasional Evolutionist (Part 2)

Ann Reid | Posted 06.18.2014 | Science
Ann Reid

Unlike human engineering, which aims for optimal efficiency, failsafe design, and continual progress, evolution has no point. "Whatever works!" might be considered its rallying cry. This leads to some stunning examples of apparently gross and, from a human point of view, tragic waste. To illustrate, I give you the turtles of Heron Island.

Why the 'Gene' Concept Holds Back Evolutionary Thinking

James A. Shapiro | Posted 01.30.2013 | Science
James A. Shapiro

DNA and molecular genetics have brought us to a fundamentally new conceptual understanding of genomes, how they are organized and how they function.

Profiles in (Evolutionary) Courage, Part 1: Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. | Posted 05.25.2011 | Religion
Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

I want to introduce you to regular people who have made a difference in the quality of the science education, in reaffirming that religion and science can coexist, and in demonstrating to all of us that it is possible to make a powerful statement in support of evolutionary biology.

Science Denial on the Rise

Steven Newton | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Steven Newton

From evolution to global warming to vaccines, science is under assault from denialists -- those who dismiss well-tested scientific knowledge as merely one of many competing ideologies.