When scientists invite us into their world, paying attention to our needs the way good hosts do for their guests, they enlarge our lives.
It was nine-twenty on a recent Sunday morning, time to pick up Gloria. On Sundays she walks to Church, (she is Catholic; I am not) and after the service we hold hands and take a walk together.
I once saw a male cuttlefish in a research aquarium position himself between another male and a female. On one side, the side facing the other male, a menacing pattern of dark bands flashed along the body sending a message, I assume, of his claim over the female.
Word aversion has drawn impressive pop-cultural coverage in the last five-or-so years. But despite all the talk of these fairly neutral words that we find so revolting, very little is known about why we can't stand them.
The Aurora Borealis occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun (solar wind) interact with gases in Earth's atmosphere. At night, the skies have been alive with dancing green light and shooting stars.
The most abundant elements in seawater are salt ions (sodium, chloride, sulfate, magnesium, calcium, etc.), and on average one liter of seawater contains 35 grams of dissolved salt (one liter of seawater weighs roughly 1000 grams so salinity is measured as parts per thousand).
Now is the time to elevate engineering as key to innovation. While we can't all be Sally Ride or John Glenn, we can learn enough about engineering to thrive in our complex technological world. Let's make the Orion spacecraft, designed to take humans into deep space, a real first step toward Mars.
While the poaching and the cruel slaughter of these iconic animals primarily occurs in Africa and Asia, this is our problem as well. The illegal wildlife trade has become the world's top five transnational organized crimes.
A revolution of sorts is brewing in the clean energy field, with the emergence of fusion and "low energy nuclear reaction" (LENR) energy. These processes, unlike fission reactions used in conventional nuclear reactors, need not emit dangerous radiation, nor do they produce radioactive byproducts.
It is often all too easy to distance ourselves and corporate executives from the wreckage. It's clear that lack of enforcement is a problem in the U.S. and elsewhere, too. Unless we beef up government oversight, it's up to the consumers -- and we simply can't be trusted.
Back in 2007, a panel of scientists decided that to protect public health the national ambient air quality standard for ground-level ozone standard should be between 60 and 70 parts per billion. Last week, their recommendation was finally acted upon. But does the science still say that 70 ppb is enough?
Typically we explain taste -- in food, music, movies, art -- in terms of culture, upbringing, and sheer chance. In recent years there have been several attempts to explain taste from biological perspectives: either neuroscience or evolutionary psychology.