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Falsification and its discontents

Falsification and its discontents

One of the answers to Edge.org’s question “What scientific idea is ready for retirement”? is by physicist Sean Carroll. Carroll takes on an idea from the philosophy of science that’s usually considered a given: falsification...

January 24, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar
Baby Octopuses: Pickier Eaters Than Baby Humans

Baby Octopuses: Pickier Eaters Than Baby Humans

Baby octopuses are notoriously difficult to keep alive in captivityas in, almost impossible. Like their adult parents, they’re sensitive to water pH and temperature and all of that jazz...

January 24, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
The Science Parodies Continue: What is the Value of Pi?

The Science Parodies Continue: What is the Value of Pi?

A fun little ditty set to the tune of the famous ‘What does the fox say?’…I only wish my high school math teacher was this cool… See the original post in Jennifer Ouellette’s ‘Physics Week in Review‘ over at Cocktail Party Physics...

January 23, 2014 — Carin Bondar
Physics and fundamental laws: Necessary truth or misleading cacophony?

Physics and fundamental laws: Necessary truth or misleading cacophony?

Robert Oppenheimer’s greatest contribution to physics was one that he wanted nothing to do with for the rest of his life. In 1939 Oppenheimer and his student Hartland Snyder published a paper in the same issue of the Physical Review that featured Niels Bohr and John Wheeler’s seminal article on the mechanism of nuclear fission [...]..

January 22, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar

7 Things You Didn't Know About Red Pandas

Here’s one thing you already knew: red pandas are adorable. While they’re not domesticated and therefore are probably not suitable as pets, some people keep them as pets anyway – especially in Nepal and India – and upload their adorable hijinks to the internet for the world to see...

January 16, 2014 — Jason G. Goldman

Scientists Discover the Very First Hipster

You’ve seen the cartoon before: a fish hoisting itself up on land with its front fins, being greeted with some snarky sign like, “Evolve at your own risk,” or something similar...

January 15, 2014 — Kalliopi Monoyios
“What scientific idea is ready for retirement?”

“What scientific idea is ready for retirement?”

Every year since 1998, Big Questions guru John Brockman has posed one big question on Edge.org and gotten about forty or fifty of the world’s leading thinkers to come up with their own answers...

January 15, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar
Should you drink coffee before or after a learning task?

Should you drink coffee before or after a learning task?

Popular wisdom holds that caffeine enhances learning, alertness and retention, leading millions to consume coffee or caffeinated drinks before a challenging learning task such as attending a business strategy meeting or a demanding scientific presentation...

January 14, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar
Speedy Octopus Sets Record for Jar Opening

Speedy Octopus Sets Record for Jar Opening

It isn’t every day in the ocean that an octopus comes across a jar to openespecially one that contains a tasty live crab. Which is why it is particularly impressive that these invertebrates can quickly figure out how to twist off a cap in captivity...

January 13, 2014 — Katherine Harmon Courage
Finally! A Science-Themed Miley Cyrus Parody…

Finally! A Science-Themed Miley Cyrus Parody…

Those of you familiar with my blog here at SciAm will know that I’m a little obsessed with science-themed music videos. When I saw the ‘Wrecking Ball’ masterpiece of Ms...

January 13, 2014 — Carin Bondar
Why drug discovery is hard – Part 3: Vacuum cleaners that make Sir James Dyson weep

Why drug discovery is hard, part 3 – Vacuum cleaners that make Sir James weep

This is part 3 of a series of posts delving into the fundamental scientific challenges in drug discovery. Here are the other parts: 1, 2. Any number of thrillers or action movies should convince us that the first and most important stratagem in defeating an enemy is getting inside his fortress or camp...

January 10, 2014 — Ashutosh Jogalekar
Shocking Study Finds Lions are Nearly Extinct in West Africa

Shocking Study Finds Lions are Nearly Extinct in West Africa

Physically and emotionally demanding. That’s how Philipp Henschel, Lion Program Survey Coordinator for the big-cat conservation organization Panthera, describes the six years he and other researchers spent combing the wilds of 17 nations looking for the elusive and rarely studied West African lion...

January 8, 2014 — John R. Platt
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