- The new movie The Martian got its start as a blog. It’s out the week NASA announces the discovery of water on the red planet. So why, Lisa Messeri asks, does the science of Mars fare so poorly against Matt Damon?
- Tim Flannery reviews two extraordinary-sounding books about the social lives of animals. In related news: macaquetor-network theory at work. (In possibly-related news: the woolliest sheep in the world is in Australia. Or was, before it was emergency-sheared.)
- Turns out it wasn’t just Volkswagen manipulating its emissions tests. Oops! But the story of how VW went down this road is very interesting and very STS.
- A conference at the CUNY Graduate Center called “The Way of the Flesh” on April 7-8 is now taking submissions.
- A stunning graphic about the history of colors from Lapham’s Quarterly.
- Cheese in evolutionary perspective.
- Arctic dinosaurs discovered!
- And in case you missed it, the new MacArthur geniuses.
Back in January 2013, twenty-three year old Kim Suozzi passed away after her fight with glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer. Kim, a recent college graduate and neuroscience major, made headlines in the months leading up to her death for her decision to cryopreserve her brain in hopes that she would one day be revived. Unable to pay for the high cost of the procedure, Kim and her boyfriend Josh Schisler took her case to the Internet, determined to drum up donations to fund Kim’s dream. Ultimately, their campaign was a huge success: Kim raised the $80,000 dollars she needed to preserve her brain until neuroscientists figure out a way to bring her back to life.
- The Pope’s encyclical on climate change, published by Melville House Press with an introduction by Naomi Oreskes.
- An incredible interview with five scientists about what came true in their fields, and didn’t.
- Why Rosalind Franklin is more important than ever.
- The first withdrawal from the Arctic seed vault. Uh oh.
- A cool BuzzFeed listicle (ugh) about the Natural History Museum in London.
- The Volkswagen defeat device and the dangerous future of computerized cars. Also, apparently VW is full of engineers who don’t believe in climate change.
- An oldie but goodie: the invisible labor force behind your curated news feed.
- And a profile of the blog that has “made retractions sexy”: RetractionWatch.
A couple of weeks ago in a very public admittance of failure, Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Although anonymous donors rallied together $1.25 million in an effort to save the museum within just a few days, museum professionals—as well as Philadelphia families—are left questioning what it means to run a successful children’s science museum…and what it takes to keep doors open.
Following a Twitter exchange with Michael Barany last Thursday evening, I am pleased to announce the start of a new series on this blog: the Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions Comparison Watch.
Have you noticed how frequently some writer on science, social science, or business will favorably compare an individual they like (often themselves) to a paradigm-shifting scientist from Kuhn’s Structure—Copernicus, Galileo, Lavoisier, Einstein, etc.? Because we have! Continue reading