Science & Society

We had some fantastic articles entered this spring into our Writing Competition open to all university grad students, and we are happy to announce the winners based on the votes entered by YOU - our online audience.

Our grand prize winner was Sena Koleva who told us all about The New Science of Love and Attraction.  You thought you knew what made that special someone attractive to you, and what it meant to fall in love?  You probably only know part of the story.  Sena's article breaks it all down for us, from a scientific perspective.

At M.I.T. the philosopher, critic and essayist Boris Groys, Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, New York University, in a talk based on his paper, "Religion in the Age of Digital Reproduction", draws freely on such predecessors as Gilles Deleuze, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger and Nietzsche to draw a bead on fundamentalism. 

One thing I learned from my recent trip to DESY was the proper name for a certain type of electrostatic generator[1].  Like many Brits, I had somehow got it into my head that it was called a Van der Graaf, but in fact it was invented by the American physicist Robert Jemison Van de Graaff.  In order to check this out, I went to Dutch Wikipedia and learned that: 

As I lay inside the box in the pitch blackness waiting for the show to begin, I wonder if the operator forgot to start it. Nothing is happening – no sound, no sights…nothing at all. Ah, wait, did I just hear something? Maybe, although perhaps that was just part of the box’s machinery I am not supposed to hear. But now I’m hearing it again, more distinctly – a raspy visceral groaning.

Definitely the show has begun!

It is springtime in Boston- a time when some of the greatest young (and old) innovators in science come together for 9 days of sciency goodness, a.k.a. the Cambridge Science Festival.

This short video highlights some of the activities and exhibits from the opening day carnival on Saturday. Features include cool stuff like LEGO robots, wicked-old mud fossil casts, making slime, and extracting banana DNA using such high-tech tools as a plastic ziplock bag and a coffee filter.

Science outreach makes me all warm and happy inside. (^_^)
I get asked a lot about Science 2.0® and why I chose to start something like, because science is such a niche.   Is it?  65 million people respond to surveys that they are interested in science. Since there are just over 300 million people in the US and 10% of those can't read due to age or infirmity, that means almost 25% of America alone considers themselves science fans.

The members of the online "geek community" are a bright bunch. But chances are you’re not going to see them at the next meeting of the American Bar Association or ever watch them demonstrating how to create a legal brief.

That much was driven home, it seems, during yesterday's response to reports about the oral arguments in the case City of Ontario v. Quon.

Academics are being increasingly pressured to produce 'publishable' results and The quality of scientific research may be suffering as a consequence, according to a new PLoS ONE study.

The analysis of papers in all disciplines shows that researchers report more "positive" results for their experiments in US states where academics publish more frequently.
Miguel de Cervantes said that a "man must eat a peck of salt with his friend, before he knows him." If the Institute of Medicine has its way, there are going to be a lot fewer friends out there for you, guys.
Grisha Perelman continues to make huge headlines - several days ago he has reportedly turned down the official proposal to participate in the so-called "Russian Silicon Valley" project. The reason he has given for his refusal is that he has "long nothing more to do with the science". Even after the reminder, that one of the scientific leaders of the "Russian Silicon Valley" project will be the Winner of Nobel Prize in Physics 2000, Prof. Zhores Alferov, Grisha has not changed his mind.