Skip to main content

Blogs

Recent Posts

Select Topic
A New Light in the Sky - "Kuwait on the Prairie"

A New Light in the Sky - "Kuwait on the Prairie"

There's a new light in the night sky - and it's North Dakota. Over the past 2 years, North Dakota has doubled its oil production to become the #2 producing state in the nation.

January 17, 2013 — Melissa C. Lott
Adventures in Pedantry: Fringe's Captain Windmark Can't Be A Toe-Tapper

Adventures in Pedantry: Fringe's Captain Windmark Can't Be A Toe-Tapper

Last week saw the third-to-last episode of Fox's sci-fi family drama Fringe . Despite the somewhat wonky fifth season, for me Fringe has represented the best sci-fi offering on network television since Joss Whedon's Dollhouse was cancelled.For the uninitiated, here's a bit of background (lots more here) required for today's pedantic adventure.

January 17, 2013 — Jason G. Goldman
Fear of scientific knowledge about firearm-related injuries.

Fear of scientific knowledge about firearm-related injuries.

In the United States, a significant amount of scientific research is funded through governmental agencies, using public money. Presumably, this is not primarily aimed at keeping scientists employed and off the streets*, but rather is driven by a recognition that reliable knowledge about how various bits of our world work can be helpful to us (individually and collectively) in achieving particular goals and solving particular problems.Among other things, this suggests a willingness to put the scientific knowledge to use once it's built.** If we learn some relevant details about the workings of the world, taking those into account as we figure out how best to achieve our goals or solve our problems seems like a reasonable thing to do -- especially if we've made a financial investment in discovering those relevant details.And yet, some of the "strings" attached to federally funded research suggest that the legislators involved in approving funding for research are less than enthusiastic to see our best scientific knowledge put to use in crafting policy -- or, that they would prefer that the relevant scientific knowledge not be built or communicated at all.

January 17, 2013 — Janet D. Stemwedel
Transplanted Bacteria Turn Up Testosterone to Protect Mice against Diabetes

Transplanted Bacteria Turn Up Testosterone to Protect Mice against Diabetes

Anyone still laboring under the mistaken assumption that genes are the most important factor in determining destiny should take a look at research that is being reported in this week’s Science about a particular strain of mice that have a genetic predisposition to develop type 1 diabetes.

January 17, 2013 — Christine Gorman

Blog Index

Scientific American Blog Network

Complex Causes. Alternative Solutions.