A Question About Frost

It’s November now, which means we’re edging into winter, and my morning ritual has been expanded to include scraping the frost off the cars when I get back from walking the dog. I’ve had to do this half a dozen times already, and I’ve noticed a puzzling pattern. Our driveway is aligned almost exactly east-west, […]

Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson

This book is, in some ways, a complement to Unscientific America. Subtitled “Talking Substance in an Age of Style,” this is a book talking about what scientists need to do to improve the communication of science to the general public. This is not likely to make as big a splash in blogdom as Unscientific America, […]

New Grants Program for Solar Energy

Whether because I’m a blogger, or because I’m a previous recipient of their money (I suspect the latter), I recently got email from the Research Corporation announcing their new Scialog 2009: Solar Energy Conversion program: Scialog will focus on funding early career scientists and building research teams to undertake groundbreaking studies in solar energy conversion. […]

Sigma Xi Talk: Tropical Glaciers Are Weird

Tuesday night was the annual Sigma Xi induction banquet on campus (I’m currently the president of the local chapter, and have been scrambling to organize the whole thing in between all my other responsibilities these past few weeks). Sigma Xi, for those not familiar with it, is the scientific research honor society– like Phi Beta […]

Uranium in Drinking Water?

A former student asks about water contamination: My mother went and had our water tested and discovered that we have high uranium and radon levels. Radon is not a big deal, its a gas, and as I have read you would need to take a shower for somewhere around 4 hours to suffer damage from […]

Restoring the Office of Technology Assessment to Its Rightful Place

Over at his new digs, Chris Mooney talks about efforts to re-launch the OTA: I’m starting to detect some buzz on this very important front, which I wrote about in detail in 2005’s The Republican War on Science and elsewhere. Basically, the story is this: In 1995 the Gingrich Republicans, looking to slash budgets–and looking […]

Martin Rees Against Fundamentalism

There’s a really good article from Martin Rees in the latest issue of Seed, on the scientific challenges that won’t be affected by the LHC: The LHC hasn’t yet provided its first results, the much-anticipated answers to questions we’ve been asking for so long. But they should surely come in 2009, bringing us closer to […]