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Scientific American at the World Economic Forum in Davos [Video]

Mariette DiChristina at World Economic forum

Since 1845, Scientific American has covered the innovations that sit at the nexus of science, business and policy. In its early years, as the Industrial Revolution swept across the U.S., our pages were rife with the focus and expectation that human’s inventiveness would ease humankind’s labors and improve the world. Today, with a global population [...]

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Guest Blog

Engineering Is a Man’s Field: Changing a Stereotype with a Lesson from India

Among rude people, the women are generally degraded; among civilized people they are exalted. —James Mill, The History of British India Two years back, we were putting together a report on the employability (job-readiness) of engineering students in India based on the results of AMCAT, a job-skills test my company and I developed (Aspiring Minds [...]

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Observations

Negroponte’s Next Goal Is to Connect the “Last Billion”

http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_negroponte_on_one_laptop_per_child

Nicholas Negroponte, the visionary computer scientist who founded the One Laptop Per Child initiative, now says he wants to connect the “last billion” people on the planet. He told the audience at TED on Monday in Vancouver that his next project would be to bring connectivity to rural people around the world who have so [...]

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Observations

President Obama Awards National Medals of Science and Technology at the White House

“You have improved our lives in ways that are practical and inspirational,” said President Barack Obama. He saluted the top U.S. researchers with the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government, the National Science and Technology Medals. At the White House ceremony on February 1, he honored 12 winners for the National Medals of Science [...]

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Observations

How I Spent My Summer Davos

Summer Davos—formally, the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions—is known as a gathering of captions of industry and policy leaders. Increasingly, it is also making room for discussion of science and technology as drivers of the innovations needed for us to continue to thrive in a finite world. I moderated or facilitated [...]

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Observations

M.I.T.: Oil-absorbing nanotech could have cleaned up Deepwater in one month [video]

MIT, oil, Deepwater

It looks like a solar-powered treadmill, but researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) say they have created a flat, conveyor belt–like device that could clean up oil slicks far more efficiently than anything used at the Deepwater Horizon site. They key is a nanoparticle-infused, water-repelling mesh coating a conveyor belt. As important is [...]

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Plugged In

In Boston, Women (and Men) Gather Today to Celebrate Clean Energy Achievements

Belcher1

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy and MIT will host the second “C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium.” This annual meeting’s goal is to provide a venue for women who work in clean energy to gather together and share their experiences. Panels will focus on clean energy  topics ranging from energy innovation to advancements in [...]

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Plugged In

(A Lack of Good) Electricity Outage Data

powerlines_small

When attempting to evaluate the overall health of the U.S. electric grid, one potentially important metric relates to outages – how often and how long customers are without power. But, data related to disruptions in electricity service are largely unavailable. In fact, many states do not require utilities to report data related to the impact [...]

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Plugged In

Molecular-Level Energy Storage

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When the sun dips below the horizon for the night, most solar panels become interesting roofing tiles, instead of valuable generation resources. During the day, a single cloud can quickly send residential solar power generators back to a fossil fuel-based grid for their electricity. This intermittency in fuel resource availability, combined with the current lack [...]

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Symbiartic

What the N.S.A. Knows About You

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Looking for an intuitive way to understand the kind of data the N.S.A. has been collecting on all of us? A team at MIT has developed a helpful graphic for GMail users. Immersion is a program that reads only the meta data from your email – precisely what the N.S.A. is collecting from telephone and [...]

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