Science & the Public
Stormy, with a good chance of cyclones. That’s the forecast for Jupiter’s south pole — a region never seen before but quickly coming into focus with the help of citizen scientists.
Music producer Roman Tkachenko’s edited image of Jupiter’s nether regions (featured above) is a perfect example. His enhancements make the swirling cyclones and white oval storms really pop compared with the...
Letters to the Editor
Gene drives at the wheel01/29/2016 - 12:30 Genetics
Tina Hesman Saey discussed the power of a new gene-editing technique to boost the development of gene drives in “Gene drives unleashed” (SN: 12/12/15, p. 16). Gene drives have the potential to eradicate insectborne diseases, Saey wrote, or remove invasive species from non-native environments. But the tremendous possibilities of this technology had several readers...
Editor’s note: We’d like to introduce Culture Beaker, the latest addition to the Science News blog network. Both the blog and its author, Rachel Ehrenberg, have had previous lives at the magazine: Rachel was a staff writer from 2008 to 2013, and for the last two years of her tenure she authored a column called “Culture Beaker.” This blog will be an updated and upgraded version that aims to...
Scientists and nonscientists don’t always agree. When it comes to genetically modified foods, 88 percent of scientists think they are safe to eat. Only 37 percent of nonscientists approve of them. Scientists overwhelmingly (89 percent) support the use of animals in research, but only 47 percent of the public is in favor. And while 87 percent of scientists agree that humans are behind climate...
Science coexists with society. Science shapes society, informs society, enables society to function in ways not possible without an in-depth knowledge of how the natural world works. But you can flip that coin and declare, equally accurately, that society shapes science. Science responds to societal needs, reflects societal values, conceives of nature within the framework of society’s...
The byline of web producer Ashley Yeager, whose look at the Rosetta mission graces this issue’s cover, doesn’t appear that often in Science News (or at least not since she was a writing intern here many moons ago). Yeager is among our most active bloggers, posting nearly daily updates on new research on the Science Ticker blog. She is also our in-house video editor, piecing together visuals...
In late June, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released an assessment of how the consequences of climate change, from rising temperatures and sea levels to changes in precipitation patterns and sea ice cover, might impact the military. The report recommends that the Pentagon develop a better plan to respond to and mitigate such impacts.
The title of the report, “Climate Change...
The Save Darfur Cause on Facebook had all the makings of a slam dunk cyber success. More than a million people joined the social media site’s digital movement a few years ago to save the people of Sudan’s Darfur region from mass slaughter.
There was a hitch in Facebook’s humanitarian giddy-up, though: The vast majority of people who enlisted in the Save Darfur Cause recruited no one...
Guest post by Tina Hesman Saey
I donated my used toilet paper to science. The act wasn’t a prank or a weird protest; it was an effort to discover what microbes are living in my intestines.
Those microbes in and on your body include bacteria, which outnumber your own cells 10 to 1. Together with with fungi, archea, viruses and other single-celled organisms, they are known...
If freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, then “free will” is just another phrase for ability to choose.
Bad, wasn’t it? But if free will is an illusion, as many scientists and philosophers have argued, then you shouldn’t blame me. On the other hand, I do blame myself. Because like most bloggers, and possibly even the several dozen humans who don’t blog, I think I decided...