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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes. Probably no one ever said the WWW or Science... Read More »

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"The Year Of (insert your favorite cause here)" is usually driven by marketing departments and often to correspond to some sort of milestone.   2009 was "The Year of..." both Galileo and Darwin, for example, though no one seemed to find a way to bring either to mainstream popularity and make a buck.  

What about 2010?    Sure, the UN declared 2010 the 'International Year of Biodiversity' but, like most things the UN is involved in, it cost a lot of money and doesn't actually do anything.    Outside science, 2010 is the Year of the Nurse.   Everyone likes nurses.
Cooks want to tell you grilling is an art or a craft.   We know better.  Grilling, like anything worth doing, is a science.   Anything that has been around for a million years is a science and fire has been considered by millenia as the thing that put humans on the map so nothing is more fundamental to anthropology, evolution and archeology than man, meat and fire.
Conservatives have long lamented the politicization of science.  And why wouldn't they?  Scientists as a bloc haven't voted Republican in decades and when Republicans limit science, there is an outcry (and even whole books!) but when a Democrat limits science the outcry is pretty much limited to ... me.   Conservatives have not, for example, lamented the politicization of talk radio because they do much better there.
Finally, there is at least some controversy about Ardipithecus ramidus - 'Ardi'.  

Ardi was the missing link that was bigger than a meteor hitting the Earth or whatever, right?  Nope, that was Darwinius, also called Ida (see Science by PR Blitz).  This one got nowhere near the press because they didn't have a book and TV show about it before the science was even revealed.
 
Some new research out of the Dynamic Robotics Laboratory at Oregon State University could have practical, humanitarian uses, like prosthetic limbs for humans or helping people in wheelchairs gain 'walking' mobility.  It could also be used for awesome military power.
 
You know what I am talking about.  Yep, the blurb will read "taking on dangerous missions in the military" but we know it means whacking wholesome rebels in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars Imperial Walker AT-AT Empire Strikes Back
A 'message in a bottle' has been a mainstay for romantics throughout the centuries - sure, putting up an old picture on the Internet is a faster way to meet new people now but there is something poignant about the randomness of nature coupled with an intentional act of bridging distances, though these days you'll have Greenpeace ramming your ship if you try it - unless it's for science.