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June 30, 2010
Karen Starko writes: When the "financial crisis" started and the news media started throwing around numbers in the trillions and projected fixes in the billions, I realized I just didn't get it. So I got a little yellow post-it, labeled it "understanding trillions," and started a list of examples.…
June 29, 2010
Liz Borkowski writes: Mark Pendergrast wrote yesterday about how politics plays into the work of the EIS, and it's something that I kept noticing as I read Inside the Outbreaks. As he points out, my post last week highlighted the solution to the Reye's Syndrome puzzle - which was solved by Karen…
June 28, 2010
Mark Pendergrast writes: Thanks to commentators Liz Borkowski, Karen Starko, Steve Schoenbaum, and Mark Rosenberg for their thoughtful posts, though it appears that Mark Rosenberg's post got cut off after his first-paragraph query asking why anyone would go into the field of public health. I will…
June 22, 2010
by Nathalie A. Cabrol I realize how immodest the title of this first blog may sound and it is certainly not my intention to convince anybody that I will answer this question in the limited space allowed here or even in a lifetime. My hope is, instead, to stir thoughts and invite an exchange of…
June 20, 2010
[This post was originally published at webeasties.wordpress.com] A recent paper published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (I have no idea what the B means, but maybe one of you can clarify with a comment) draws an enticing connection between whale excrement and climate change. …
June 4, 2010
If you can't make it to the Tishman Auditorium in New York tonight to catch the highly anticipated program The Limits of Understanding, we've got you covered. The event will be streaming live, but we'll also be there to cover it, so follow along with the commentary alongside the video stream, and…
June 3, 2010
At 8:00 pm EST tonight, tune in to the live stream of Black Holes and Holographic Worlds, which Greg Boustead and myself will also be covering live from NYU's Skirball Center. Moderator Alan Alda and physicists Raphael Bousso, Robbert Dijkgraaf, Andrew Hamilton and Kip Thorne will explore recent…
June 3, 2010
...is over here, where you can also see a live stream and comment thread. I'm in there via the Kimmel Center's liveblogging booth, but you can also follow me (or the #WSF10 tag) on Twitter. We're going live to Norway as we speak, so tune in! Update: Your 2010 Kavli Prize Winners: Astrophysics…
June 2, 2010
As part of the series of posts reflecting on the move of Science Commons to Creative Commons HQ, I'm writing today on Open Data. I was inspired to start the series with open data by the remarkable contribution, by GSK, to the public domain of more than 13,000 compounds known to be active against…
May 31, 2010
Anyone interested in Henrietta Lacks and the grave marker finally placed on her long unmarked grave this weekend should click here immediately for a beautiful post by scientist David Kroll, who attended the unveiling ceremony.  It's filled with beautiful photos of the day, and a tribute to all…
May 29, 2010
Today is a very exciting day:  Henrietta Lacks (aka HeLa) has been lying in an unmarked grave since her death in 1951. Today, thanks to Dr. Roland Pattillo at Morehouse School of Medicine, who donated a headstone after reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, her grave is finally marked.  …
May 17, 2010
So a week back or so, a number of friends read an article about death by rectal eel and immediately thought of me. For those of you who missed the story, it went a little something like this: * Chinese man gets drunk with friends and passes out * Friends think it would be hilarious to insert a…
May 17, 2010
You may have noticed things look a little different around here. We’ve gussied up for the 2010 iteration of our flagship festival, which officially went on sale last week. There are still a few bugs we’re ironing out on the site (please bear with us!) and a couple of exciting programs yet to be…
May 13, 2010
Things have been a bit quiet here as I finished up my crazy four-month-long book tour, and there's much to catch up on.  First, some big news just in: Oprah, Alan Ball, and HBO are going to be making a movie version of my book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  This news has gotten quite a bit…
April 12, 2010
Welcome to the new home for The Thoughtful Animal! Welcome especially to new readers! To the old readers, I hope you'll enjoy the new place. Nothing big will change; but now I've got better technical support, a family of Sciblings (go check out their blogs!), a more powerful interface, and…
April 4, 2010
I mentioned a while ago that I'll be posting answers to FAQs about my book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, as an ongoing series on this blog. I thought I'd start the FAQs with one of the most commonly asked questions: How did you learn about Henrietta and the HeLa cells, and why did they…
March 22, 2010
Creative Commons was fortunate enough to be involved in a fascinating workshop last week in New York on Open Hardware. Video is at the link, photos below. The background is that I met Ayah Bdeir at the Global Entrepreneurship Week festivities in Beirut, and we started talking about her LittleBits…
February 27, 2010
It's tough to tread that line between contempt and admiration: Jerry Coyne writes about the Templeton journalism awards. It really is a smart move on the part of the Templetonites to coopt journalists to sell their bankrupt line by tossing a good-sized chunk of money at them. One interesting…
January 24, 2010
Last week's ScienceOnline2010, our fourth annual science communication conference in North Carolina, was our biggest, best and most successful event yet, and from the long list of blog and media coverage and the Flickr pictures, YouTube videos and Twitter mentions of the conference (all using the…
January 24, 2010
People You cannot see the feedback that many participants at ScienceOnline2010 have already provided to Anton and me (keep them coming - we take the responses very seriously), but the recurring theme for the "highlight of the conference" question was "Meeting the People"; and the main request for…
January 15, 2010
The history of science has never been more relevant. As we struggle with communicating science effectively and breaking down barriers to the open access of scientific knowledge it's essential to learn from the lessons of the past as we move forwards. Science relies on the open communication of…
January 14, 2010
Is there a place for citizen scientists in the world of digital biology? Many of the citizen science projects that I've been reading about have a common structure. There's a University lab at the top, outreach educators in the middle, and a group of citizens out in the field collecting data. After…
January 14, 2010
Following along in the tradition of Bora's introductions of the various attendees for the upcoming Science Online 2010 conference, I thought I'd list all the library people that are attended. I'm not going to try and introduce each of the library people, I'll leave that to Bora, but I thought it…
January 14, 2010
Yes, we have it. You can check out the app in iTunes here. Features include a schedule quick-reference, information about the conference as a whole, and a brief nod to the participating sponsors. The app is named 'SciOnline10' due to the (visible) naming restrictions on the device. Searching for…
January 13, 2010
Several blog posts posts were written (by me or Stephanie Zvan) explicitly in preparation for Science Online 2010 Session C, Trust and Critical Thinking organized by Stephanie Zvan and including PZ Myers, Desiree Schell, Greg Laden, and Kirsten Sanford The most recent post, just put up, is this one…
January 13, 2010
Do citizen science efforts ever go beyond "feel good" contributions? Do the data get published in peer-reviewed journals? Cross-posted at Discovering Biology in a Digital World. In an earlier post, I started a list of citizen science projects that allow students to make a contribution. Many…
January 13, 2010
January 12, 2010
A record number of SciBlings will be in attendance at ScienceOnline2010 - 26! Who will be there? Erin Johnson, Janet Stemwedel, Christina Pikas, Rebecca Skloot, Dorothea Salo, Anne Jefferson, Suzanne Franks, SciCurious, Sandra Porter, Dr.Isis, Katie Thompson, Greta Munger, Dave Munger, Abel…
January 12, 2010
Of course, our conferences always attract a nice contingent of physicians, nurses, medical journalists, biomedical researchers and med-bloggers, so it is not surprising that ScienceOnline2010 will also have sessions devoted to the world of medicine. Check them out: Medicine 2.0 and Science 2.0--…
January 12, 2010
There will be, at ScienceOnline2010, at least two sessions dedicated to books and book publishing - From Blog to Book: Using Blogs and Social Networks to Develop Your Professional Writing and Writing for more than glory: Proposals and Pitches that Pay - as well as several others that will at least…