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Posts Tagged "obama"

Budding Scientist

Science Education Experts Respond to Obama’s Speech

In his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama spent less time than in years past discussing his ambitions to reform science education. He referred to his administration’s offer to let states opt out of  No Child Left Behind (” … grant schools flexibility to teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching [...]

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Cross-Check

Obama’s nuclear policy takes one step forward and two steps back

In 1983, a Columbia University undergraduate named Barack Obama wrote an article, “Breaking the War Mentality,” for the school publication Sundial. Obama expressed the hope that someday humanity would abolish nuclear weapons and create a “nuclear free world.” Obama never abandoned that dream. The Nobel Foundation awarded him its Peace Prize last December in large [...]

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Extinction Countdown

The Obamas’ Portie: a breed that almost went extinct

The Obamas talked about rescuing a dog from a shelter. They ended up getting pup Bo as a gift from friend Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., but it turns out the First Family has become part of a 70-year journey to save an entire breed by bringing home a Portuguese water dog to become the nation’s [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Salt marsh mouse: An endangered species becomes a stimulus scapegoat

The salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) has been on the Endangered Species List since 1970. So why, after all of this time, has it gotten so much media attention in the last few weeks? It turns out that the mouse has become a convenient scapegoat for attacks against President Obama’s stimulus package, thanks to [...]

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Life, Unbounded

This Is What We Don’t Know About The Universe

dont panic.001

In recent days I’ve had some interesting conversations. There’s a giddiness going around, related to an outpouring of science love – the kind you get from President Obama introducing TV science shows, the kind that has wonderful visuals, but is, well, a wee bit simplistic (a sin that none of us could ever, ever be [...]

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Observations

Shopping Habits Reveal Personal Details in “Anonymized” Data

Credit/Source: PhotoDisc/ Getty Images

Details about where and when you use your credit card could help reveal your identity to data thieves—even if they don’t know your name, address and other personal information. That’s according to the latest study to poke holes in the notion that anonymous data records are an effective way to protect privacy. Businesses, medical facilities [...]

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Observations

Free Community College: Obama Heeds Scientific American‘s Advice

It took awhile. But President Obama finally decided to take us up on the editorial we published last summer on making community college free. What kept him? Kim Jong Un? John Boehner? Actually, beats us if he actually read it. But the idea of making community college free is one whose time has come. “Great [...]

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Observations

Scientific American Editors’ Picks for the Top Tech Stories of 2014

Operators aboard Australian navy vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy’s Bluefin 21 Artemis autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Blair/Released.

Wallets, wreckage and digital coin. Before the new year appears, let’s look at some of the most important technology stories Scientific American covered over the past 12 months. North Korean “cyberwar” rhetoric escalates President Barack Obama says the digital attacks in November on Sony Entertainment—allegedly by North Korea or some agent acting on its behalf—did [...]

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Observations

Americans Who Mistrust Climate Scientists Take Cues from Global Temperatures

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 5.02.50 PM

The White House obviously accepts the science behind human-caused climate change, as was made clear again this week by its announcement of plans to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030. Some Americans remain skeptical—but they’re in the minority. As The New York Times reports, most [...]

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Observations

Obama’s Clean Power Plan Means More Gas to Fight Global Warming [Video]

mountaineer-co2-capture-unit

400 PPM: What’s Next for a Warming Planet Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached this level for the first time in millions of years. What does this portend? » If the power plant goes away, so do the jobs, and then the town. That’s the fear in New Haven, West Virginia, home [...]

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Observations

Fight over Solar Power Returns to White House Roof [Video]

obama-white-house-solar-panels-installed

The sunshine that warms Washington, D.C. is once again generating electricity for the White House. After an absence of nearly 30 years, the Obama administration has announced that a 6.3 kilowatt photovoltaic installation of the “typical size for an American house,” is back on the White House roof and generating power. The Obama administration had [...]

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Observations

How to Reconcile Big Data and Privacy

White House image, courtesy of CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade

In many ways “big data” and “encryption” are antithetical. The former involves harvesting, storing and analyzing information to reveal patterns that researchers, law enforcement and industry can use to their benefit. The goal of the latter is to obscure that data from prying eyes. That tension was at the core of a conference this week [...]

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Observations

CVS Anti-Tobacco Move Possible Boon for Electronic Cigarettes?

An electronic cigarette in its charger

When retail giant CVS Caremark unveiled its announcement this morning that it will no longer sell cigarettes or other tobacco products in its stores it was rightly hailed as a boon for public health, even netting public praise – and a thank you – from the White House. But even as CVS said its decision [...]

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Observations

Keystone Pipeline Will Impact Climate Change, State Department Reports

oil-sands-refinery

How much can one oil pipeline affect global climate change? That’s one of the fundamental questions probed by a new, final environmental impact assessment released January 31 by the U.S. State Department. At issue is the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry 730,000 barrels a day of oil from western Canada, mostly from Alberta’s tar [...]

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Observations

Obama Vows More Executive Action on High-Tech Manufacturing, Climate Change Mitigation and Renewal of Science

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

After a year buffeted by squeezes to federally funded research from a government shutdown as well as an extremely bumpy rollout of healthcare.gov, President Barack Obama’s fifth State of the Union Tuesday night struck a few hopeful notes for science and technology. Speaking before Congress, he devoted roughly a fifth of his  speech to topics [...]

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Symbiartic

Will the real Sam Illustrator please stand up?

In researching the carbon cycle recently, I came across the diagram above illustrating how carbon cycles through the atmosphere and into the ocean, through shells and rock, then magma only to be spewn out as gas into the atmosphere again via volcanoes. I thought it did a nice job of conveying the information, but I [...]

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Talking back

When It’s Brains, It Pours ($$$$$): Obama’s Big (Neuro) Science Project

It was an anti-climax: the President of the United States clocking in after The New York Times had already spilled the beans about his big brain program, a centerpiece of the administration’s second-term, legacy-making efforts in the science arena. After the Times article, everyone had, for weeks, written, speculated, chewed over and made preparations for [...]

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Talking back

Are Delta-FosB, or 5-HTT the Obama Genes?

The Atlantic featured a captivating fantasy in its November issue about a scenario to assassinate the U.S. president in 2016 by using a bioweapon specifically tailored to his genetic makeup—a virus that targeted the commander in chief and no one else. A great plot for a Hollywood thriller. But will we really see four years [...]

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