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Stories by Laura Jane Martin

Butterflies and Bombs

The St. Francis’ Satyr is small, brown, and fabulously rare. Once found across North Carolinian sedge meadows, the federally endangered butterfly is now restricted to a few square miles.

March 26, 2013 — Laura Jane Martin

Postage Stamps Overlook Earth's Tiny Creatures

What can postage stamps tell us about biodiversity conservation? When André Nemésio isn’t studying biology, he collects stamps. André and his colleagues Diana Seixas and Heraldo Vasconcelos recently cataloged the animals represented on hundreds of thousands of postage stamps for sale on Delcampe and eBay.

February 20, 2013 — Laura Jane Martin

#OverlyHonestMethods, or #SoGladWe'reHavingThisConversation

This Monday thousands of scientists contributed to the hashtag #OverlyHonestMethods, a collection of methodological descriptions that would never appear in a scientific publication: brazen confessions, sardonic resignations, gleeful editions of may-my-advisor-never-read-this.Most of the tweets react to the specialized and strange set of writing conventions that scientists must conform to in order to publish articles in scientific journals.

January 9, 2013 — Laura Jane Martin

The Death of Natural Selection

My evening plan to read Harry Potter for the first time (I know!) was thwarted by Linton Weeks’s thought-provoking post on the right of plants to evolve.

November 5, 2012 — Laura Jane Martin

Scientists as Writers

Scientists study murky ponds, holes in space, and atoms that refuse to touch. Science is inspiring and beautiful. But scientific articles are not. Most scientific articles are so impenetrable that even scientists cringe to read them.

August 15, 2012 — Laura Jane Martin

The Higgs Boson and My Mom

The Higgs boson is discovered and I am proud of my mom. My mom has worked as an administrative assistant in the Brown University Physics Department for 18 years.

July 6, 2012 — Laura Jane Martin

The Co-Evolution of Insects, Plants and a Career

A series of graduate student conversations with leading women biologists, at the Women in Science Symposium at Cornell April 2-3. Dr. May Berenbaum, professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

April 16, 2012 — Laura Jane Martin

Visiting the Corpse Plant

I woke up, bleary-eyed, to news that would change my week: A corpse plant was about to bloom at Cornell University. In other words, the most amazing thing I could imagine was unfolding, literally, down the street from my house.The corpse plant has the largest unbranched blossom in the world.

March 21, 2012 — Laura Jane Martin