Alexander Shulgin, the most prolific psychedelic chemist in history, has died at the age of 88. I interviewed Shulgin and his wife and co-researcher Ann at their home in California in 1999, when I was researching my 2003 book Rational Mysticism.
This is the third installment in my monthly feature “Cool Sh*t I’ve Read Lately.” (Here are number one and number two.) This month I’m calling it “Cool Sh*t I’ve Read–and Seen—Lately” so I can add a movie and art exhibit.
Biologist Gerald Edelman–one of the truly great scientific characters I’ve encountered, whose work raised profound questions about the limits of science—has died.
I recently got into an argument, again, about cancer. The occasion was a talk by one of my colleagues at Stevens Institute, philosopher Gregory Morgan, on the fascinating history of research into cancer-causing viruses.
Success stories are a staple of medical communication. The clinician or reporter tells the tale of a patient whose ailment has been ameliorated by a new drug, device, surgical procedure or other intervention.
I lack the tribalism gene. I don’t identify strongly, emotionally, with clusterings of people, whether nation, religion, ethnic group, profession or sports team (although decades ago I endured the horror of being a Mets fan).
Last month, in an effort to make this blog more upbeat, I started a monthly column called “Cool Sh*t I’ve Read Lately.” My stated intention was to draw attention to “well-written articles about compelling topics.” In this second installment, I’m breaking that rule by mentioning not only articles but also books, including a novel.
After consuming magic mushrooms in Basel, Switzerland, I ran into Albert Hofmann, the chemist who catalyzed the psychedelic era.
Corvid cleverness is making news lately. Two of my favorite science writers, Sharon Begley and James Gorman, describe a variety of experiments--reported in PLOS One by researchers in New Zealand–in which crows mimic the hero of Aesop’s ancient fable “The Crow and the Pitcher.” By dropping objects into containers of water, crows raise the water’s [...]
Some idiot over at National Geographic just wrote a column titled “Science Is Running Out of Things to Discover,” and the commenters are hammering him.
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