Climate Change Communication: Taking the Temperature – Part 4 with David Schultz

Editor's Note: This is a guest blog post by Kirk Englehardt (@kirkenglehardt). Kirk is Director of Research Communication and Marketing for the Georgia Institute of Technology. He blogs about strategic communication & #scicomm on LinkedIn and The Strategy Room.  He also curates and shares #scicomm content, which can be found on Flipboard, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.  Introduction In this series of interviews, prominent climate scientists share how and why they communicate, the risks they are taking by publicly engaging in the climate discussion, and how... Read more


Builders and Blocks – Engineering Blood Vessels with Stem Cells

Back in 2001, when we first began studying how regenerative cells (stem cells or more mature progenitor cells) enhance blood vessel growth, our group as well as many of our colleagues focused on one specific type of blood vessel: arteries. Arteries are responsible for supplying oxygen to all organs and tissues of the body and arteries are more likely to develop gradual plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) than veins or networks of smaller blood vessels (capillaries). Once the amount of plaque in... Read more


The Art of the Nobel Prizes

As Nobel Week 2014 is approaching Linda Moussakova shares an overview of the various art projects related to the Nobel Prizes. Collage: Linda Moussakova « inuentas aut qui uitam excoluere per artes » « inventions enhance life which is beautified through art » The Aeneid  Book VI verse 663 available on This extract from The Aeneid was engraved by Erik Lindberg (1873-1966) on the Nobel Prize medals for Chemistry, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine. The reverse side of the Chemistry... Read more


Montenegro’s science minister accused of plagiarism

From my post on Retraction Watch: Sanja Vlahovic, science minister of Montenegro, copied two-thirds of a 2010 paper on tourism from previously published work by other academics, according to the national daily newspaper Vijesti. The newspaper compared her paper, “Destinations’ Competitiveness in Modern Tourism,” presented at the Tourism & Hospitality Management 2010 conference in Opatija, Croatia, to three previously published papers and found much of the content to be identical, without the minister acknowledging two of those papers in the bibliography.... Read more


More Useless Creatures

Yesterday in the New York Times Sunday Review, Richard Conniff wrote, “[w]ildlife is and should be useless in the same way art, music, poetry and even sports are useless. They are useless in the sense that they do nothing more than raise our spirits, make us laugh or cry, frighten, disturb and delight us.” I couldn’t agree more. In an opinion piece titled “Useless Creatures,” Conniff, a nonfiction writer and student of animals and their behavior, bemoaned the fact that... Read more


To Keep Moving is To Live

We’ve all seen the scenario in our high school biology textbooks. A single population of fish shares a large Pond. But then something drastic happens in the landscape. Perhaps a drought occurs, and the large Pond partially dries up to leave two smaller ponds separated from each other by a hill or expanse of higher, dry land. If this separation lasts long enough, combining the fish from pond A and pond B produces an interesting effect – the fish can... Read more


Birdbooker Report 338

SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read more


Walter Gilbert: Big data and genome sequencing not good for medical purposes

The Laureate who devised the DNA sequencing method discusses his apprehensions about medical applications of big data and genome sequencing. Walter Gilbert received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980 for devising the DNA sequencing method. He shares his views about the revolution his work has brought about in next generation sequencing, and collection of ‘big data’. He shares his apprehensions about their medical applications. Walter Gilbert and Mohit Kumar Jolly 2014 in Lindau. Mohit Kumar Jolly (MKJ): A PhD... Read more


Following Through: An Interview with a Real-Life Marine Biologist

At one point or another, we've all dreamed of studying the sea. We picture our lives aquatic: wetsuits and little red caps, sea air and salty lips. Few of us follow through. We move on, and our nautical fascination takes a back seat to other goals. But what if we had actually become marine biologists? What would it be like to study the ocean every day? Erin Eastwood, a masters student studying coral reef conservation at Columbia University, knows exactly... Read more


Blogging for a science magazine

A Q&A What is it like to blog for a science magazine? Is it different from blogging on your own independent WordPress or BlogSpot platform? What's it like to have a blog editor? Do blogs change as they are moved from independent websites to magazine blog networks? These are some of the questions I've been wondering about as I interview science bloggers for my PhD project (#MySciBlog), because science bloggers fill such a variety of roles for a variety of... Read more


Morsels For The Mind – 12/09/2014

Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur &... Read more


Murmuration over Otmoor

SUMMARY: Tens of thousands of starlings produce spectacular sky shows with their movements at sunset as they gather together every evening during autumn and winter. September has arrived, so you all know what that means: the beginnings of huge bird flocks in autumn and winter! Just as humans spend more time congregating in pubs in autumn and winter, starlings also gather together in large numbers at these times. Every evening as the sun sets, small groups of a dozen or... Read more


Managing Innovation: Step-by-step approach rarely yields better performance

Paul Hünermund, who was a young scientist at #lindauecon14 explains his research on innovation management. Step by step to innovation success? Being an innovative company is easier said (or included in a mission statement) than done. Managers of innovative companies have to spend large R&D budgets on projects with highly uncertain outcomes. In high-tech industries such as automobiles, biotech and pharma, R&D intensities of more than 15% of annual sales are not uncommon (EU R&D Scoreboard, 2013). How to invest... Read more


One-Way Street Toward Interdisciplinarity?

For a successful interdisciplinary team – bring in some real experts!  Interdisciplinarity is defined as creating something new by crossing disciplinary boundaries, like a research project involving biology, physics and chemistry simultaneously. That pretty much describes the work of Hartmut Michel, Johann Deisenhöfer and Robert Huber; they shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1988. These three researchers had described the three-dimensional structure of a bacterial membrane protein complex with the help of x-ray crystallography. Just to keep track of the... Read more


You Could Still Be Waiting

I owe a lot to this blog. This blog got me into science writing, from the first time I pitched the idea of writing about anything and everything science (but especially about science in popular culture) to Nature Blogs in 2010. Lucky for me, they accepted my pitch (I was at the time a slightly unfulfilled biomedical PhD student at WashU in St. Louis), and I've been blogging ever since. This blog guided me into a graduate degree in journalism. This blog helped... Read more