Environment

Category archives for Environment

Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson

This book is, in some ways, a complement to Unscientific America. Subtitled “Talking Substance in an Age of Style,” this is a book talking about what scientists need to do to improve the communication of science to the general public. This is not likely to make as big a splash in blogdom as Unscientific America,…

New Grants Program for Solar Energy

Whether because I’m a blogger, or because I’m a previous recipient of their money (I suspect the latter), I recently got email from the Research Corporation announcing their new Scialog 2009: Solar Energy Conversion program: Scialog will focus on funding early career scientists and building research teams to undertake groundbreaking studies in solar energy conversion.…

Tuesday night was the annual Sigma Xi induction banquet on campus (I’m currently the president of the local chapter, and have been scrambling to organize the whole thing in between all my other responsibilities these past few weeks). Sigma Xi, for those not familiar with it, is the scientific research honor society– like Phi Beta…

Uranium in Drinking Water?

A former student asks about water contamination: My mother went and had our water tested and discovered that we have high uranium and radon levels. Radon is not a big deal, its a gas, and as I have read you would need to take a shower for somewhere around 4 hours to suffer damage from…

Over at his new digs, Chris Mooney talks about efforts to re-launch the OTA: I?m starting to detect some buzz on this very important front, which I wrote about in detail in 2005?s The Republican War on Science and elsewhere. Basically, the story is this: In 1995 the Gingrich Republicans, looking to slash budgets?and looking…

Obligatory Freeman Dyson Link

As a scientist with a blog, I am apparently contractually obligated to link to the New York Times Magazine profile of Freeman Dyson. If I don’t, they’ll take away my privileges as a scientist. (Of course, since those consist mostly of the right to review grant applications for the NSF, maybe it’d be worth the…

Martin Rees Against Fundamentalism

There’s a really good article from Martin Rees in the latest issue of Seed, on the scientific challenges that won’t be affected by the LHC: The LHC hasn’t yet provided its first results, the much-anticipated answers to questions we’ve been asking for so long. But they should surely come in 2009, bringing us closer to…

A couple of weeks ago, I moderated a global warming panel at Boskone. The panel was recorded by Richard Amirault, who has now posted the video on his Boston fandom website (Episode 41, if it moves off the front page before you click that link). I haven’t watched the video, but I listened to the…

Why “Clean Coal” Matters

Back before things went pear-shaped this weekend, Jonathan Zasloff had a good post about why “clean coal” is important: I think it’s terrific that the Coen Brothers are making funny, effective ads against relying on “clean coal” as part of the US energy program. But I worry that the clean energy community is really missing…

Global Warming at Boskone: Not That Awful

Sunday morning at Boskone, I moderated a panel on “Global Warming: Facts and Myths, (and all that jazz)”, featuring James Morrow, Mark Olson, and Vince Docherty. As noted previously, I was a little worried that this would turn out to be absolutely awful in one of a couple of obvious ways, but it wound up…