Author Archives: americanscience

Last-week-of-term links


Edmund D. Fountain, for the New York Times

HSS 2015: A Roundtable Review

hss_logo_verticalTwo weekends ago, under (surprisingly) sunny Northern California skies, hundreds of historians of science met in San Francisco to share their research, debate central questions in the field, and – perhaps most importantly – spend time with friends, both old and new. Three members of the AmericanScience team were present to take in the sights and sounds of this annual HSTM gathering (and even found time to catch up with each other in the flesh!) After taking a week to digest our conference experiences, we present to you our thoughts on HSS 2015.

As usual, with such as massive program, a single review does not do the conference justice. And so, we opted for a review in the round, providing three perspectives on the meeting. It just so happens that we also focused our reviews on the roundtable, a format not new to HSS but unusually prominent on this year’s program. Without further ado, we begin our spin around HSS 2015 with Evan’s favorite panel of the weekend:

Continue reading

Links for your Thanksgiving airport travel


A tardigrade. Cute, isn’t it? (via

Links for Monday, November 16, 2015


Transparent aluminum! And other weekly links for Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What the winner of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences gets, plus a lot of money

Links for Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Curiosity selfie (NASA)

In case you missed these from the past week:

  • We’re featured on Public History Commons!
  • A new paper in Science and Engineering Ethics questions the widespread use of “publication consultants” at every level of research, especially in biology and medicine, and suggests that their use should be made more transparent.
  • Greenland is melting away, and the New York Times has a wonderful (and beautifully designed) account of Earth science in action.
  • If there are aliens, they’re probably robots by now.
  • Giant ancient earthworks in Kazakhstan have only been discovered with NASA’s help.
  • Theranos, a company that has raised $9 billion on a promise to revolutionize blood testing, is coming under fire for its central claim: that it can produce results using only a pinprick’s worth of blood. “While hot Silicon Valley start-ups like Uber and Airbnb have run into regulatory hurdles, as a medical technology company, Theranos has bumped up against something else: the scientific method.”
  • Quantum mechanics v. relativity.
  • Microbiomes? The Times is on that too this week. Here’s a feature on the American Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit called “The Secret World Inside You.” And here’s the writeup of two new papers in Science and Nature, urging a national microbiome research initiative.

Links for weekend reading, Friday, 16 October, 2015