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What’s New on

A climate change-denying conference in New York, a new government council to review stem cell regulations in Germany, and a couple of spectacular, science-y visuals: These are the stories driving conversation this week at our partner site,

Climate Change Denial
Last week’s “International Conference on Climate Change,” held in New York by the free-market think tank The Heartland Institute, was the peg on which several authors at hung a discussion of climate change—and its denial.

At his blog WeiterGen, Tobias Maier compares the opposing stances of denialism and alarmism, while Ali Arbia of Zoon Politikon ‘Social Animal’) examines the place of ‘reality’ within this heated debate:

“Why do these people assume reality is a shelf in a self-service store where anyone can pick whatever they like? The worst thing is: it works. This kind of event leaves the impression of controversy, and that might just be enough for people to suppose that scientists themselves ‘don’t really know’…”

Stem Cell Debate
Germany has stricter laws regulating stem cell research than do several other nations in Europe. Last month, under pressure from scientists, German lawmakers began to consider easing these laws. This month, Germany is rebuilding its advisory council on stem cell research. Tobias Maier of WeiterGen comments on the makeup of the new council, which is made up of scientists, ethicists, and theologians, remarking:

“The only expert [on the council] in fact doing any research on embryonic stem cells is Hans Schöler.”

His post triggered a debate on how science meets the demands of society and non-scientific public.

Toon Anatomy
Ever wondered what Bugs Bunny looks like under an x-ray? Christoph Larssen presents a selection of the weird and wonderful works of Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee, known for his photo-realistic skeleton studies of popular cartoon characters, at Wissen schafft Kommunikation.

i-1dc95ce3f52ba973261f3280dd7d6d45-aircannon_still.jpgVideo: Giant Air Cannon
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their business, a chain of sandwich shops constructed a giant air cannon capable of blowing out the candles on their celebratory cake…from 180 feet away. Wissen schafft Kommnunikation has the video. A video explaining the physics of the cannon can be found at the project’s website.

Finally, links in this article are to blog posts in German. But, generally speaking, their authors are happy to respond to comments in English.

Thanks to Anwen Roberts and to managing editor Beatrice Lugger.

Image: Erbert & Gerbert’s