When a U.S. president nominates a candidate to take over the top spot at a major government agency such as the Defense Department, at least a few senators—usually from the opposing party—raise some objections, if for no other reason than to show that they will not rubber-stamp anyone the president proposes.But yesterday Republicans boycotted a vote on Gina McCarthy, President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency...
President Obama has restored science to its rightful place in the White House, says John Holdren, Obama’s senior science advisor.“Science is again where it should be,” he told an audience of 200 as part of a lecture series at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J...
On May 2, after nightfall shut down photosynthesis for the day in Hawaii, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere touched 400 parts-per-million there for the first time in at least 800,000 years...
By now we’re all painfully aware of the federal government’s across-the-board cutbacks on discretionary spending—better known as the sequester—and how it has imperiled publicly funded scientific research in the U.S...
Scientific American 's editorial board strongly believes that the US was wrong to mount a fake hepatitis B vaccination campaign in the effort to kill Osama bin Laden.
Depending on your perspective, Twitter can either be a valuable source of breaking news, or a fire hose of miscellaneous, often dubious information. Microsoft researchers are investigating whether the microblogging service could serve another, more scientific function—to spot signs of postpartum depression in new mothers based on changes in how and what they tweet.The research is in its early stages and in some ways relies heavily on data that’s easy to misinterpret...
In March, the Harvard University researchers behind the RoboBee project wrote an article in Scientific American that detailed the challenges of building a swarm of bee-sized robots.
What is the “final frontier”? Star Trek fans will tell you it’s space. Filmmaker/aquanaut James Cameron will tell you it’s the ocean’s depths. IBM, however, is thinking much smaller.The company’s research division on Wednesday released a stop-motion movie whose main character is a stick figure only a few atoms in size...
This past weekend the misguided aquatic ape theory surfaced for air, only to get sunk in the most entertaining way. The theory holds that many traits of humans—including our naked skin, upright posture and large brains--evolved as adaptations to living in an aquatic environment...
You and I can access billions of Web pages, post blogs, write code for our own killer apps—in short, do anything we want on the Web—all for free! And we've enjoyed free reign because 20 years ago, today, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and his employer, the CERN physics lab in Geneva, published a statement that made the nascent “World Wide Web” technology available to every person, company and institution with no royalty or restriction.Berners-Lee proposed the Web in 1989 and had a working version in Dec 1990...
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