Leo Szilard – brilliant, peripatetic Hungarian physicist, habitué of hotel lobbies, soothsayer without peer – first grasped the implications of a nuclear chain reaction in 1933 while stepping off the curb at a traffic light in London...
This is an updated and revised version of an article I wrote for the Lindau Meeting of Nobel laureates and Current Science magazine. In 1969, one of the more memorable incidents in the public advocacy of science took place...
What makes a Nobel Prize winner? There's several suggested factors: Perseverance? Good luck? Good mentors and students? Here's one possible factor that I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams; chocolate consumption...
The philosopher and writer Jim Holt who has written the sparkling new book “Why Does The World Exist?” recently wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times, gently reprimanding physicists to stop being ‘churlish’ and appreciate the centuries-old interplay between physics and philosophy...
One of this year's Nobel laureates in physics, Serge Haroche, has a few words of wisdom for fostering a good research environment. Our experiments could only have succeeded with the reliable financial support provided by the institutions that govern our laboratory, supplemented by international agencies inside and outside Europe...
On his blog "In the Pipeline", Derek Lowe has a contemplative post on the conditions necessary for seeing titans in particular fields, and whether these conditions can be replicated again...
Brian Kobilka (Stanford) and Robert Lefkowitz (Duke) have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on one of the most important classes of proteins in living organisms, the G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs)...
In a previous post I described the benefits and enduring value of Small Science. I emphasized the fact that in the current economy and funding environment, Small Science is likely to be consistent while Big Science happens in fits and starts...
There's a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that should make the scientific community sit up and do a little pondering. Researchers from the University of Washington, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the firm MediCC!...
The discovery of DNA structure was an outstanding example of Small Science (Image: Subversive Archeologist) I am a big fan of Small Science. In spite of the riches unearthed by Big Science in the fields of biology and physics during the last fifty years, historically speaking much of scientific progress has come from small groups or individuals working with relatively cheap equipment and resources...
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