Environmentalism, like politics in general, is depressingly polarized these days. On one side, alarmists like the activist Bill McKibben, climatologist James Hansen and blogger Joe Romm warn that if we don't cut way back on fossil fuels—now!—civilization may collapse...
I just realized today is Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. To celebrate it, I'm posting the following column, adapted from something I wrote for The New York Times nine years ago:Three years ago, my wife, who is a pagan, decided that our family should celebrate Winter Solstice...
What does it say about particle physics that the Higgs boson has generated so much hullaballoo lately? Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland have reportedly glimpsed "tantalizing hints" of the Higgs, which might confer mass to quarks, electrons and other building blocks of our world...
All science writers, especially those of us who cover particle physics and other fields that purport to reveal ultimate reality, hear from cranks. Pre-email, I got envelopes stuffed with manuscripts, sometimes hundreds of pages long, from people unaffiliated with any research institution known to me...
I've been brooding over Buddhism lately, for several reasons. First, I read that Steve Jobs was a long-time dabbler in Buddhism and was even married in a Buddhist ceremony.
The biologist Lynn Margulis died on November 22 at the age of 73. I adapted the following essay about her from my 1996 book The End of Science.
As an adolescent, I was sometimes so glum that my mom called me Eeyore. I wallowed in The Waste Land , 1984 , Brave New World and other gloomy classics.
Last summer, I wrote about my run-in with a rabid skunk, which reinforced my disbelief in a benign, all-powerful God. If such a God exists, why does He allow some people to suffer so much, through no fault of their own?...
We are facing an epidemic in this country, a threat to our health caused not by pathogens, environmental toxins or lousy diets but by medical tests. Over the past couple of years, we've learned that two popular tests for cancer—mammograms and the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test for prostate cancer—are less than useless for many people...
I was going to let the demise of Muammar Gaddafi pass without comment—after all, what does the murder of this tyrant have to do with science, right?
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