2015 Nobel Prize in Physics: Changeable ‘ghost particles’

The awarding of the Physics Nobel Prize started somewhat mystically: The topic was the change of identities “of some of the most abundant inhabitants of the universe”. A short time later we got to know who changes its appearance: neutrinos! Neutrinos are those ‘ghost particles’ which – according to Prof. Anne L’Huillier from the Nobel committee – pass through our bodies in gigantic numbers every second without us being able to see or feel them. And as paradox as this... Read more


Finding Professor “X” – A STEM Story: Professor “X” is Identified & I Need My Readers’ Advice

Hello Dear Readers, I've identified Professor "X" and know how to reach him. I'd like to be bold and call him, but am concerned that a call might be intrusive. What should I do? Call or write a letter? I'll keep you posted.  ... Read more


A Brushiness With Ogdenashiness

Frederick Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971), often referred to simply as 'Ogden Nash', was an American poet with a signature style of whimsical light verses replete with puns, deliberate misspellings, strangely irregular meter, but always ending in rhymes. Having read Ogden Nash as a child, I always find his poems delightful and utterly enjoyable. I recently came to know that I have another connection to him; apparently, Ogden Nash, a New Yorker by birth, called Baltimore... Read more


Scientific research in Africa: reasons for hope

It started as I dwelled on the negative science climate within this country and the ongoing concern by some that China will one day surpass us. Yet in my experience, I've encountered many scientists from abroad, giving up so much to train or seek a research career in the US. This made me wonder what science was like in their home countries. Over the years I had many conversations with scientists from disparate places like China, India, Russia, and Jamaica.... Read more


Nobel Prize 2015: The Fight Against Tropical Parasites

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine emphasises scientific breakthroughs that have been applied with great success in tropical medicine. “The two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually,” the Nobel committee in Stockholm announced today. And these diseases mostly effect “the most vulnerable” – children in developing countries.   BREAKING NEWS The 2015 #NobelPrize #Medicine to William C. Campbell @DrewUniversity, Satoshi Ōmura and Youyou... Read more


Researchers Get ‘Fancy’ With an Iggy Azalea-Inspired Journal Submission

If I told you some researchers submitted an invited paper to a journal along with a video explaining the work, you might not be too impressed. …But what if I told you it was an Iggy Azalea-inspired music video? Now I have your attention. Professors David Sholl and Ryan Lively of Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) said it started as a pretty generic request from the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters to provide a video with... Read more


Morsels For The Mind – 02/10/2015

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


Finding Professor “X” — A Stem Story: What Was Lost Might Be Found

  As I was writing my first "Professor 'X'" episode yesterday, an email was hitting my mailbox. The friendly archivist I mentioned has come up with a name -- Wendell Pepperdine. The name immediately rang a bell. The archivist sent me a photo of Wendell Pepperdine as a young man. I'm 99.99% sure he's my Professor "X." If Wendell Pepperdine is still alive, I'm going to find him. Interestingly, a Wendell Pepperdine is the son of the man who founded Pepperdine University.... Read more


The SCICOMM 25 (10.2.15)

The SCICOMM 25 is Back! This is where I pull together the week's 25 most talked about science communication stories, determined by the engagement rate of stories I've shared on Twitter. Many are written by the world's leading science communicators. Some offer tips and advice, while others tackle important issues we need to discuss and debate. All of them are worth checking out. I hope you enjoy this week's list. Top Stories: Why scientists don’t engage with the public...and why they should.... Read more


How Does Science Happen? The Basal Cell Nevus Saga

Was Newton sitting under an apple tree? Was Kekulé dreaming while snakes were forming benzene rings during his rapid eye movements? Hard to say, it was a long time ago. That is why it is especially interesting to have a contemporary scientific narrative told by one of the key movers within the story. The October 2015 issue of JID includes an editorial by Ervin Epstein, Jr., who has been thinking of, dreaming of, and exploring the secrets of the basal... Read more


Finding Professor “X” — A STEM Story

The media is flooded with stories about the barriers women face in achieving STEM careers. I've encountered some of those barriers -- stories for a later time. Suffice it to say, I was the first member of my immediate family to earn a college degree. I made up for lost time by earning more degrees than will fit nicely on my business card. Throughout the course of my education, there were people who mentored me -- people who extended a helping hand, encouraged me when... Read more


Peer Review, Amis Style

Posted by Tom Webb in Mola Mola

I have read for pleasure for as long as I remember, some books haunting me for years after I finish them, others drawing me in only while they last. But two authors had a particularly formative influence on me in my late teens, in very different ways. Richard Dawkins caused me to reassess my position in the world. And Martin Amis showed me that so-called literary novels could also be pretty good fun. In the couple of decades since, my... Read more


Lindau Alumna Anaïs Orsi wins Prix L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science

When Anaïs Orsi joined 649 other young scientist this summer at the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting the sunny weather was a welcome change to the conditions she usually faces during her regular research work investigating climate change in Antarctica. For her scientific work and her role in promoting gender balance in research she was now awarded the prestigious Prix L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science. Since 1998 the UNESCO partners with the L’Oréal Foundation to award outstanding female researchers in... Read more


Video: All Creatures Great and Small, feat. Elizabeth Blackburn

“Are you sitting comfortably? Then let me tell you about my Nobel prize-winning science.” The first movie out of the “Nature Video Lindau Collection 2015″ is out. In this series of animated films, Nobel prize-winning scientists talk about work, life and discoveries that change the world. The stories were recorded by our media partner Nature at the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The first video features Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn. From jellyfish to ants, all life is beautiful in the... Read more


Cues for Credibility: Reading Science Blogs

What factors lead people to trust and engage with a science blog? One 2014 study found cues for blog credibility include a blogger's self-reported expertise, or the expertise/profession they indicate on their "About the Blog" pages or in their sidebar biographies, for example. Other cues for credibility reported in the study include gender (with readers perceiving female blog authors to be more credible in this case) and community ratings (e.g. upvotes on the blog post). Interested in more research on science blog readers, or... Read more