USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

Joanna Pool

We’ve all seen (and used) them: seemingly endless amounts of plastic and Styrofoam material for shipping and packaging everything from televisions and computers to toys and mail parcels. But we often never think about the impact those reams of bubble wrap and blocks of foam will have on our landfills and other parts of the…

In her quest to study the fundamentals of climate change, prominent geochemist and climatologist Kim Cobb has sailed on six oceanographic research voyages and led five caving expeditions to the rainforests of Borneo. Her challenge: working out of her primary research base in the tropical Pacific, how to better understand and reconstruct climate variability of…

Meet Nifty Fifty speaker Ben Dubin-Thaler. With a refreshing measure of ingenuity, Ben Dubin-Thaler is proving that some of the most exciting lessons in science can occur outside the classroom – in a bus. That’s the Cell Motion BioBus, a self-powered, fully-equipped mobile microscopy lab that Ben developed and operates to bring hands-on science education…

Living in a World of Microbes

Roberto Kolter, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard’s Medical School, believes that microbes, bacteria in particular, have gotten a bad rap. “Oh sure, occasionally a nasty one like Salmonella or E. coli gets through and causes trouble,” he says, “but for the most part bacteria are quite beneficial, helping us to digest our…

Meet Larry Bock, the founder of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, interviewed by engineering.com What do you think is important celebrating science and why we should celebrate science?

As a young student growing up in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Charles (Chuck) Vest remembers taking endless aptitude tests in school – all of them indicating that he should become a journalist, a psychologist or a historian. Engineer was way down on the list, test results always revealed, strongly suggesting he had little…

How does the brain create and perceive music? More specifically, what goes on inside the heads of musicians when they’re in the groove composing a song or improvising with their instruments or voice? These questions have long intrigued researcher Charles Limb, and to find answers he’s turned to studying the brains of some likely individuals:…

Meet CTO of Host Sponsor Lockheed Martin interviewed by Engineering.com at the 2010 USA Science and Engineering Festival. Why do you think getting American’s excited about science is important? What do you think we can do about it? What about science do you find exciting?

Meet Nifty Fifty Speaker Catherine Mohr, Nominated by FIRST. She began her career as a mechanical engineer, working many years developing alternative-energy vehicles and high-altitude aircraft. But a mid-career change set Catherine Mohr on a different path for which she is known today: developing the next generation of surgical robots and robotic procedures that allow…

Hod Lipson is noted for bringing biologically-inspired approaches to the study of robotics – all in an effort to answer what he believes to be two great challenging questions in engineering: “First, can we design machines that can design other machines, and second, can we make machines that can make other machines?” he asks. Both…