Moral Time: Does Our Internal Clock Influence Moral Judgments?

Does morality depend on the time of the day? The study "The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior" published in October of 2013 by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith suggested that people are more honest in the mornings, and that their ability to resist the temptation of lying and cheating wears off as the day progresses. In a series of experiments, Kouchaki and Smith found that moral awareness and self-control in their study subjects decreased... Read more


Paul Dirac: The Quiet Genius Died 30 Years Ago

He is considered to be an important founding father of modern quantum physics, his books are still standard reference works, and many people have heard of one of the technical terms named after him. But who is the person behind these terms – who was Paul Dirac? First of all, he was one of the youngest Nobel laureates ever: he received the prize in 1933, together with Erwin Schrödinger, at the age of only 31, “for the discovery of new... Read more


Raw and Uncut 4: The Glow-Worm

Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915) is considered by many to be the father of modern entomology. Last week I came across an English translation of his “Souvenirs Entomologiques” a series of texts on insects and arachnids. The translation is called “Fabre’s Book of Insects” and was done by Mrs. Rodolph Stawell in 1926. After reading I understand that much of his enduring popularity is due to his manner of writing about the lives of insects in biographical form, which he preferred... Read more


Birdbooker Report 343

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


The chemical map of otoliths

It's about the size of a diamond and comes from the inner ear of a fish. This tiny construction holds a treasure trove of information, a calcium carbonate microchip made of bone and accessed by a laser. Let's take a look at the science of otoliths. An otolith is a fish ear bone (from oto- ear and lithos- stone). From every population of fish Heidi Golden finds, she preserves a number of otoliths to take back to the lab. These... Read more


Morsels For The Mind – 17/10/2014

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


Outbreak Abroad: Jennifer Yang, Toronto Star

“It was a mixture of being totally inspired and totally devastated.” “I've covered a lot of crimes and deaths, and nothing has really moved me to the point of this.” “Everyone involved with Ebola research is fully engaged or in the field, and very hard to access or too busy to talk, so it's been one of the more challenging stories to cover for sure.” Welcome to the first installment of Outbreak Abroad. During this #OpenSciLogs series, we’ll explore how... Read more


Beyond The News Release – How PIOs Can Connect With The Public

Public information officers (PIOs) at research institutions are responsible for helping their employers connect with the public. Often this is through conventional media relations and social media efforts. But sometimes PIOs can find other ways, unconventional ways, of connecting with various audiences. To explore these issues, Karen Kreeger, senior science communications manager at Penn Medicine, organized a session for this year’s National Association of Science Writers meeting at Ohio State University. The session, “Beyond the News Release Grind: Connecting with... Read more


Risk Communication and Ebola

Just this past week, I gave a lecture on risk communication to the students of Coastal Environmental Communication (#SciCommLSU) at the Manship School of Mass Communication. I found myself comparing our relatively low concern with serious, long-term environmental impacts in coastal Louisiana with our irrationally high concern over low probability risks, including coming into contact with the Ebola virus while in the U.S. Seeing the current state of overblown fears over Ebola in the U.S., when that concern would be much more constructively channeled into efforts... Read more


Climate Change Communication: Taking the Temperature (Part 8) with Edward Maibach

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


Quick Questions About Scientific American Español

On Oct. 15, Scientific American announced the launch of a new site called Scientific American español. The announcement describes the new site as “an online channel with a special focus on science news and information in Spanish.” Here’s an excerpt from the announcement: Our new Spanish-language site, headed by Debbie Ponchner under the direction of Robin Lloyd, Scientific American’s news editor, and Richard Zinken, director of international digital development, features the same authoritative take on science news and information that... Read more


Nature Outlook 2014: Medical Research Masterclass (from Lindau)

Nature once again has published a special supplement on occasion of the Lindau Meeting – this time taking you on a trip to the frontiers of medical research. From the basic functions of the cell to cures for HIV and cancer, Nature Outlook: Medical Research Masterclass uses the 2014 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting as a basis to explore the latest research in medicine and physiology. Topics are viewed from the perspectives of Nobel laureates and the young researchers aiming to... Read more


Science Blogging for Institutions: Your Virtual Roundup of the ScienceWriters2014 #OrgBlog Session

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Rachel Ewing, a science and health news officer at Drexel University. Ewing is the organizer and moderator of a session called “Science Blogging for Institutions: How to Make Your #OrgBlog the Best it Can Be” at the National Association of Science Writers annual conference. This weekend at the National Association of Science Writers meeting in Columbus, OH, we’re going to talk about a topic that may be familiar to readers of Matt’s... Read more


New Nature film from Lindau chronicles the war against cancer

The last installment of Nature Video’s Lindau Collection 2014 Features Lorna Stewart following the past, present and future of cancer research. In 1971, the then president of the United States, Richard Nixon, declared ‘war’ on cancer. Since then, billions of dollars have been poured into cancer research worldwide, but a cure for the disease is still a long way off. In this Nature Video, reporter Lorna Stewart marks the scientific milestones of the past four decades. She explores cancer genetics... Read more


Sketches of Science exhibition travels to Korea

The photo exhibition Sketches of Science can now be seen at Gwacheon National Science Museum in Seoul. ‘Sketches of Science’ is a creative photography project by German artist Volker Steger supported jointly by Stockholm’s Nobel Museum and the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. The idea is simple but enthralling: What happens when you ask Nobel Laureates to explain their prizewinning research in a simple sketch? Or, as MIT’s SPECTRVM mathematically put it: Nobelists + Crayons + Paper = Winning Portraits. The... Read more