Feb 26, 2009 | 35
Last night in a room with a double helix woven in the carpet, the cantankerous geneticist James Watson, Nobel Prize winner and provocateur—made clear his opinion of today's high school teachers: They're not too bright.
Watson, 80, was part of a panel discussion at the New York Academy of Sciences that followed a screening of a new documentary called Naturally Obsessed, The Making of a Scientist. The film is about the trials and tribulations of graduate students in biochemist Lawrence Shapiro's x-ray crystallography laboratory at Columbia University in New York City. (We live-Twittered the event, so click here for our reports and real-time reactions from our followers.)
Nov 4, 2008
It's been a long slog to get to this election day. We all know the campaigns spent millions to get their messages across. But Bob Grant at The Scientist wondered about the environmental cost (log-in required)—specifically how much the campaigns of Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain contributed to global warming. Based on total campaign expenditures—including flying, driving, and printing materials—Grant (with help from consultant Standard Carbon) estimates that the Obama camp emitted nearly 78,000 tons of climate-change inducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and the McCain campaign roughly 59,000 tons of CO2.
Standard Carbon suggests planting 18 square miles of new trees to offset that climate change pollution—the growing trees would theoretically soak up an equivalent amount of CO2—but such carbon offsets don't address the core of the problem: burning fossil fuels.
Nov 3, 2008
Is a sticky scientific or health dilemma holding you up from pulling the lever in the voting booth tomorrow? We've still got our trusty blow-by-blow of the presidential candidates' positions on controversial policy topics for quick reference.
Some regional and local hot campaigns to watch from our recent in-depth report on science and the election: A lawsuit over whether to allow drilling for gas in Colorado's Roan Plateau could influence who gets the state's open U.S. Senate seat. While neither Democratic candidate Mark Udall nor Republican Bob Schaffer has taken clear positions on the debate, political scientist Robert Duffy told ScientificAmerican.com last month that the controversy "helps Udall marginally." Udall has a 47 to 43 percent lead over Schaffer in a new Denver Post poll.
Oct 27, 2008 | 27
Amid the hoopla about Sarah Palin's very un-hockey mom $150,000 campaign wardrobe, the Republican veep candidate managed to drop another flammable tidbit that set off the science community,
not to mention the blogosphere.
During a speech on her ticket's special needs policy last week, Palin, who has held up her Down's syndrome young son as a symbol of her kinship with all parents of special needs children, mocked earmarks better known as pork for eating up much-needed federal funds.
Sep 28, 2008 | 6
When the presidential nominees verbally duked it out during their first televised debate Friday night, many people -- including perhaps Democrat Barack Obama -- were flummoxed when Republican John McCain started railing about forking over funds to study bear DNA.
What's up with that? Check out this ScientificAmerican.com article from earlier this year for the answer.
(iStockPhoto of grizzly bears by Paul Tessie)
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