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A Scientific Breakthrough Only A Scientist Can Love?

This week there was a media frenzy over the discovery of 'gravitational waves'. Scientists were celebrating and universities/labs around the world were issuing news releases. It was like the scientific community was involved in a giant group hug. ...with the public on the outside looking in. https://storify.com/kirkenglehardt/a-scientific-breakthrough-only-a-scientist-can-lov... Read more

 

When the Universe Chirped – Detecting Gravitational Waves

When Joe Betzwieser found out that that a bright signal had been detected from the control room of LIGO Livingston, a Laser-Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in Louisiana, he was just glad that he wasn't working. Just an hour or two before an instrument operator saw a squiggly wave run across a monitor in the LIGO control room, signaling gravitational waves or "ripples in spacetime" for the first time ever, Joe was making calibration measurements on the instrument. If he had been working... Read more

 

Science Migration: A Little Bavarian with Pharaonic Looks

Egyptian-born Lindau alumna Ghada Bassioni started her education in Germany. In an elementary school in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia to be precise. She then returned to Egypt where she continued school and later studied chemistry at Cairo’s Ain Shams University. Being emotionally attached to both countries and cultures – calling herself a ‘little Bavarian with pharaonic looks’ – she was happy to return to Germany to finish her Master’s and PhD degrees at the Technical University Munich. Today, Mrs. Bassioni is... Read more

 

Percy Julian, natural products chemist.

Percy Lavon Julian was born in 1899 in Montgomery, Alabama. He would grow up to change the history of medicine and US agriculture through his discoveries in natural products chemistry. He also managed to get rich doing it. He was a gifted teacher and speaker. He engaged undergraduates in productive (i.e. published) research, hired a diverse team of scientists as a research director, and contributed to science both basic and applied. I wrote about Wilbur Scoville a few weeks ago,... Read more

 

Morsels For The Mind – 05/02/2016

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

 

The SCICOMM 25 (2.4.16)

Welcome to the SCICOMM 25! This is where I pull together 25 (or more) of 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, which includes posts I found over the past two weeks.  Top Stories:... Read more

 

Empathy, Connectedness and Responsibility: German Academics Discuss the Refugee Crisis

Nearly half a million applications for asylum submitted by refugees were processed by German authorities in 2015, according to the German Federal Office for Refugees and Migration. The number of people who were officially registered in Germany as potential asylum seekers was even far higher-roughly one million in 2015 – which suggests that Germany anticipates an even higher number of official asylum applications for 2016. Chancellor Angela Merkel has defied many critics even in her own party and cabinet by... Read more

 

World Cancer Day 2016: Children Get Second Chance

“Your child has cancer.” This is one of the very worst sentences a parent can hear. But for parents whose child has already been treated for cancer in the past, there is only one worse: “The cancer is back.” In general, cancer in children is quite rare. In Germany, half a million adults receive a cancer diagnosis every year, compared to about 2,000 children. And up to 500 parental couples hear the sentence about the cancer coming back. In developed... Read more

 

Bovine Blackguards, A Profound Potboiler

Having been born and growing up in India, the land of the sacred cow, I am no stranger to this domesticated, quadrupedal ungulate of the subfamily Bovinae, genus Bos. It's difficult not to have respect for an animal whose scientific name already proclaims it to be the boss, and I am culturally well-conditioned ('well-done', one might say) to accord an immediate reverence to this multi-faceted (not to mention, delectable) animal. After all, Gau-mata, or Cow the Mother, is an enduring... Read more

 

Using Twitter to Interact, But Science Communication to Preach

“Science blogs were heralded for their potential to transform dialogue between science and society, yet studies suggest they have failed to do so.” – Alison Smith Can Twitter do any better? In a paper recently published in the Journal of Promotional Communications, Alison Smith investigates the ways that scientists use Twitter for science communication. Twitter, Smith proposes, may provide a medium for true public engagement with science by “allowing users to have conversations, form communities, share content, and build relationships.”... Read more

 

Pioneering New Ways to Capture Life.

Images have always been important to science. The revolutions in biology and astronomy took off with the invention of the microscope and telescope, respectively. It was a new perspective on things. Images opened up whole new worlds to explore. In the study of botany and plants one of the main ways to capture nature was through paintings, drawings, and etchings. And it's a field that women have long contributed to. Botanical artists are still around today and still able to... Read more

 

A Response To Eileen Pollack’s ‘The Only Woman in the Room’

I was so excited when I heard about Eileen Pollack’s new book and first nonfiction work, The Only Woman in the Room. It’s a narrative that explores her personal journey through a rigorous science degree at Yale and also dissects the reasons she went into writing instead of physics. It's an examination of why so few women start in the sciences and why so many of them drop out of science fields after they get their degree or even halfway... Read more

 

Morsels For The Mind – 29/01/2016

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

 

Happy Birthday, SciCheck – How Was Your First Year?

On January 29 of 2015, FactCheck.org – the nonpartisan fact-checking site based at the Annenberg Public Policy Center – launched a new feature called SciCheck. At the time, Eugene Kiely, the director of FactCheck.org, said in a statement that SciCheck “will focus exclusively on false and misleading scientific claims that are made by partisans to influence public policy.” I was curious about how SciCheck has done in its first year, so reached out to Dave Levitan, who was the primary... Read more

 

Martin Karplus – A Visionary Pioneer

Martin Karplus, honorary citizen of Vienna, Austria, Foto: Franz Johann Morgenbesser, CC BY-SA 2.0 Martin Karplus was born in Vienna in 1930 and later became a US citizen through naturalisation. Following the annexation of Austria by National Socialist Germany, his family managed to escape to America via Switzerland – his parents had already organised English lessons for their sons in the years leading up to the move so that they would be able to continue their schooling immediately on arrival... Read more