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Observations

Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

Global Warming: Democrats and Republicans Agree

Global Warming: Democrats and Republicans Agree

Wait, what? Contrary to the polarized positions that politicians and commentators often take in the media, Americans do not disagree about global warming or what to do about it.

March 18, 2014 — Mark Fischetti

Shocked Physicist Learns His Big Bang Theory Is True [Video]

Few people were as thrilled with the big physics news today as physicist Andrei Linde. One of the main authors of inflation theory--the idea that the universe expanded incredibly rapidly just after it was born in the big bang--Linde has reason to be excited...

March 17, 2014 — Clara Moskowitz

Mathematical Patterns in Sea Ice Reveal Melt Dynamics

Some people call Ken Golden the "Indiana Jones" of mathematics due to his frequent excursions to remote, harsh parts of the world. Golden, a professor of mathematics at the University of Utah, studies the dynamics of sea ice, and he regularly goes out into the field to test his hypotheses...

March 13, 2014 — Geoffrey Giller

Why Big Data Isn't Necessarily Better Data

Tech companies--Facebook, Google and IBM, to name a few--are quick to tout the world-changing powers of "big data" gleaned from mobile devices, Web searches, citizen science projects and sensor networks...

March 13, 2014 — Larry Greenemeier

The Web Turns 25…Sort Of

In March 1989, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee proposed a way to link together documents on different computers that were connected to the Internet.

March 12, 2014 — Mark Fischetti

How To Reconcile Big Data and Privacy

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...

March 6, 2014 — Larry Greenemeier

Ukraine's Top Scientists Turn to Academic Unity in Call for Peace

The political unrest reverberating throughout the Ukraine has prompted its top scientists to send out a plea for peace. Since the crisis escalated last week, after Russia moved to establish control over the largely Russian speaking Crimean peninsula in southern Ukraine, it has fueled fears that the conflict will boil over into military action between [...]..

March 5, 2014 — Dina Fine Maron

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