June 6, 2013 |
Marcia Bartusiak is the executive director of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing. Her latest book, "The Day We Found the Universe," was awarded the History of Science Society's Davis Prize. At times, even Albert Einstein was no Einstein. The universe, to him in 1917, appeared stable and unchanging. So when his newly introduced general theory of relativity suggested that the cosmos would collapse under its own weight, Einstein added a fudge factor to his equations.
April 24, 2008 |
More than half the Environmental Protection Agency scientists who responded to an independent survey made public yesterday said that they had witnessed political interference in scientific decisions at the agency during the past five years. The claim comes from a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy group that sent questionnaires to 5,500 EPA scientists and obtained 1,586 responses. Among the scientists' complaints were that data sometimes were used selectively to justify a specific...
May 11, 2012
Stephanie Dazio's coverage of the recent USA Science & Engineering Festival in D.C. [" Getting their geek on ," Metro, April 28] was both generous and positive, as were the accompanying photos. However, the catchy and alliterative headline, lifted from Dazio's article, was a disservice to the many children and young adults attending such an event — perhaps for the first time in their lives. Using the term "geek" certainly is more commonplace than it used to be. So what's the harm in it?
January 17, 2013 |
At the recent annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union , scientists presented evidence of climate change proceeding more rapidly than they had imagined 15, 10 or even five years ago. After a brief hiatus due mostly to the economic downturn, they noted, global greenhouse gas emissions are rising again. Arctic sea ice is retreating at an unprecedented rate, sea levels are rising more rapidly than anticipated, and the sea-surface temperatures that drive tropical storms and hurricanes are rising, too. Another topic at...
October 27, 2012
Why does the sound of a drill or fingernails on a chalkboard send shivers down your spine? Scientists have discovered that it's not your ears that object to the offensive sounds; instead, it's your brain. The amygdala (pronounced a-MIG-da-la) is the part of your brain that controls your emotions, and it seems to react very strongly to certain sounds. Your amygdala's reaction is what causes you to respond strongly to these sounds. Scientists studied the brains of volunteers while they listened to 74 sounds.
June 1, 2008
Scientists recently discovered that the Grand Canyon, which they had thought was 6 million years old, is actually 17 million years old. This is a heartening development for the ever-growing group of Americans staring into the crevasse of old age: It gives hope that it's possible to be 17 million years old but not look a day over 6 million. Preventing, delaying and hiding aging is an explosive growth industry. Americans over 65 make up about 13 percent of the population today. By 2030, they're expected to be 20 percent . There is a...