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Science Far from Center Stage in Obama’s State of the Union

Science Far from Center Stage in Obama’s State of the Union

President Barack Obama's sixth State of the Union address, his first before a Republican-led legislature, was studded this evening with references to science and technology amidst talk of middle class tax cuts, thawing U.S...

January 20, 2015 — Dina Fine Maron

NASA's Dawn Mission Captures New Image of Dwarf Planet Ceres

NASA’s Dawn mission, having performed remarkably at the asteroid Vesta, is homing in on Ceres. The spacecraft’s ion engines will bring it to a capture orbit around this 590 mile diameter dwarf planet on March 6th, 2015 – at a distance some 2.5 times further from the Sun than the Earth...

January 20, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf
Lost And Found On Mars

Lost And Found On Mars

Lost, presumed crashed, the Beagle-2 lander is finally located on Mars. Back in December 2003 a bold and decidedly British robotic device was released from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express orbiter...

January 16, 2015 — Caleb A. Scharf
Neutrinos on Ice: Launching the Balloon

Neutrinos on Ice: Launching the Balloon

Editor's Note: Welcome to ANITA, the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna! From October to December, Katie Mulrey is traveling with the ANITA collaboration to Antarctica to build and launch ANITA III, a scientific balloon that uses the entire continent of Antarctica for neutrino and cosmic ray detection...

January 7, 2015 — Katie Mulrey
Troublemaker Lee Smolin Says Physics—and Its Laws—Must Evolve*

Troublemaker Lee Smolin Says Physics–and Its Laws–Must Evolve*

What separates good from bad troublemakers? Productive provocateurs from mere contrarians, bullshit artists, attention-seekers? This is the personalized equivalent of philosophy’s demarcation problem, which involves telling genuine from pseudo-science...

January 4, 2015 — John Horgan
Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life In 2015?

Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life In 2015?

Probably not, but just possibly yes. One of the reasons that the search for life elsewhere in the universe is so exciting is that it would take only one chance discovery, one lucky break, for all the walls to come tumbling down...

December 29, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf

The Top Ten Space and Physics Stories of 2014

From humanity’s first, flawed foray to the surface of a comet to the celebrated discovery of (and less celebrated skepticism about) primordial gravitational waves, 2014 has brought some historic successes and failures in space science and physics...

December 22, 2014 — Lee Billings
Neutrinos on Ice: Waiting to Fly

Neutrinos on Ice: Waiting to Fly

It’s another beautiful day in Antarctica, and the time has come to launch ANITA! Finding the right date is tricky. Many factors have to fall into place.

December 19, 2014 — Katie Mulrey
Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

Two billion year-old water pockets and a revised deep hydrogen content are good news for Earth’s vast subsurface biosphere, and could offer clues to life on Mars and much further beyond...

December 18, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
Reflections on My @SciAmBlogs Tenure

Reflections on My @SciAmBlogs Tenure

After three and a half years or so as a part of the SciAm blogging network, this my last post as a dedicated blog at Scientific American. There will be an announcement from SciAm about the reorganization of the blogging network, and PsiVid, where I’ve posted about science in TV, video and film along with [...]..

December 15, 2014 — Joanne Manaster
Erin Gee Blends Emotions, Science, Music and Robotic Pianos

Erin Gee Blends Emotions, Science, Music and Robotic Pianos

This week’s video comes from a post by Princess Ojiaku over at Science With Moxie. According to the original post: Erin Gee is a Canadian artist and composer who has created a way to directly feed human emotions into music played by robots that she built and programmed herself...

December 14, 2014 — Carin Bondar
The Greatest Science Music Video Parodies Continue

The Greatest Science Music Video Parodies Continue

Tim Blais of A Capella Science has come up with a few great new science music video parodies. First, a chemistry-themed version of Meghan Trainor’s ‘All About That Base’, and second an exam-riddled student’s version of Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’...

December 14, 2014 — Carin Bondar

How Brains Know Where Things Are—Making Space by Jennifer Groh

Groh launches her book with a BIG FAT LIE: she tells us that nine-tenths of our brain power is spent determining where things are. Then she immediately admits that she just made that up, but that she'd dedicate the rest of the book to explaining why she thinks its true...

December 13, 2014 — Stephen L. Macknik
Comet 67P Only Looks Gray, It’s Actually Black

Comet 67P Only Looks Gray, It’s Actually Black

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission has now released the first narrow-angle color composite image of Comet 67P – taken through a set of red, green, and blue filters.

December 12, 2014 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Art and Science of Peppermint

The Art and Science of Peppermint

I love the latest video from the folks at USC Dornsife, all about the art and science of peppermint. In addition to being a fun, fast paced and visually pleasing film, this work gives us a lot of basic information about peppermint from diverse points of view including psychology, history, art, neurobiology — and more...

December 11, 2014 — Carin Bondar
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Self-Awareness or Illusion?

Self-Awareness or Illusion?

Solving the “Hard Problem”