Are you managed or monitored?
Shiny things collected by an easily distracted marine biologist. There will likely be fish, critters, science, other people's art, fannish stuffs (mostly of a science fictiony, Sherlocky, or cartoonish nature), teapots, things that make me laugh, and occasionally, kids.
Btw, if you'd like to leave a real comment instead of liking or reblogging, Disqus comments are enabled; just click the date, and scroll to the bottom.
Women in Science on Tumblr!
Let’s make this simpler! Click the link to give us your info, and you’ll be on the list. Young and old, student and pro - we want you!
Thanks for all the responses you guys. We’re truly touched and awed by your encouragement. Keep it up, ladies!
Any of my female-identifying followers interested? People interested in science welcome as well…
Scientists Create The World’s First Glow-In-The-Dark Pigs
no dont worry, its science
have you ever tried to find a pig in the dark? it’s fucking hard. there’s no downside to this
A CURE FOR CANCER?
I wouldn’t be eating those kind for breakfast
Well, here’s the thing - this is actually really important.
See, the glow-in-the-dark gene comes tacked together with another gene, one with a proper, scientific function, which might be something in aid of a cure for cancer, for example. By adding the two genes together, connected to each other, you can easily tell if the important, cancer cure gene is being expressed, just by looking to see if the pigs are glow-in-the-dark or not.
So yeah, don’t talk shit about scientists making glow-in-the-dark animals. There is actually a reason for it.
Learn how to be science, Tumblr.
Top 5 misconceptions about evolution: A guide to demystify the foundation of modern biology.
Here is an infographic to help inform citizens. From my experience most people who misunderstand evolution are actually misinformed about what science is and how it operates. That said, here are five of the biggest barriers faced when one explains evolution - I have faced these and they are documented in the literature.
I hope you can build on my work and improve the communication between the scientists and the public.
Want to do more? If you want to donate to the cause of science education I suggest the National Center for Science Education http://ncse.com, your local university, or an equivalent organization. Volunteering at schools and inviting scientists into classrooms are two ways to encourage an informed society. Attend hearings if school boards start questioning evolution’s role in public curriculum. Raise a storm if anyone tries to ban science. Plus, it never hurts to reblog a well made evolution post.
Thank you followers for all your support!
Highly evolved infographic there.
Someone on the bus was talking about coming from monkeys the other day. I am so tempted to print this out and hand it out like a tract when I’m hearing nonsense.
Even better, trade when someone actually hands me Where Will You Be Spending Eternity.
Hawking’s Revolutionary New Proposal on Black Holes
In a calculation-free, very short new paper posted on the arXiv preprint server last week, Stephen Hawking made some big claims. Hawking effectively dismisses the notion of an event horizon, the invisible boundary beyond which nothing, even light, can escape. This event horizon is what most people really think of as a black hole - a funnel-like boundary that once you’re in, you’re in.
Event horizons have been a practical staple of black-hole ideology for decades, and a dismissal of their existence would elicit groans and labels of “crank” if coming from nearly any other physicist, but Hawking’s status as perhaps the most respected scientist in the world ensures respect for his proposal. In their stead, Hawking has proposed a much friendlier “apparent horizon,” which could release matter and energy moving at around the speed of light after holding them inside for a brief period - although in a more “garbled form,” as Nature writes.
Hawking’s new work is an attempt to solve a paradox that has been confounding physicists for nearly two years, known as the black-hole firewall paradox. A team from the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, believed that when adding quantum theory to black holes, the event horizon must be transformed into a highly energetic “firewall” that would consume anything falling in. Unfortunately for the team, this firewall would break pace with general relativity, which says that crossing the event horizon should be generally uneventful.
Since the introduction of the firewall paradox, physicists have been wondering if relativity or quantum theory would be correct. However, Hawking says that both theories can remain perfectly intact, and black holes simply do not have an event horizon to produce a firewall. As Nature writes, “The key to his claim is that quantum effects around the black hole cause space-time to fluctuate too wildly for a sharp boundary surface to exist.”
Although the paper has yet to be peer reviewed, it is being examined critically and will spark a flurry of new research. Surely more exciting work will be published in the near future - stay tuned!
More: Nature, New Scientist
Image Sources: Huff Post, Wiki
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Women in science article - blood already boiling
Correspondence was published in this week’s Nature in response to an editorial discussing the journal’s efforts to include more women in its pages. Basically it is the ”women make babies = women no make science” argument + “I’m a-ok with the status quo (y’know, because I’m a dude and all)”.
Wow. And not in a good way. Thanks, Nature, for allowing your commenters to prove your point for you.
Peter Higgs: I Wouldn’t Be Productive Enough For Today’s Academic System:
Peter Higgs: ‘Today I wouldn’t get an academic job. It’s as simple as that’. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
Peter Higgs, the British physicist who gave his name to the Higgs boson, believes no university would employ him in today’s academic system because he would not be considered “productive” enough.
The emeritus professor at Edinburgh University, who says he has never sent an email, browsed the internet or even made a mobile phone call, published fewer than 10 papers after his groundbreaking work, which identified the mechanism by which subatomic material acquires mass, was published in 1964.
He doubts a similar breakthrough could be achieved in today’s academic culture, because of the expectations on academics to collaborate and keep churning out papers. He said: “It’s difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964.”
Speaking to the Guardian en route to Stockholm to receive the 2013 Nobel prize for science, Higgs, 84, said he would almost certainly have been sacked had he not been nominated for the Nobel in 1980.
Edinburgh University’s authorities then took the view, he later learned, that he “might get a Nobel prize – and if he doesn’t we can always get rid of him”.
Higgs said he became “an embarrassment to the department when they did research assessment exercises”. A message would go around the department saying: “Please give a list of your recent publications.” Higgs said: “I would send back a statement: ‘None.’ “
By the time he retired in 1996, he was uncomfortable with the new academic culture. “After I retired it was quite a long time before I went back to my department. I thought I was well out of it. It wasn’t my way of doing things any more. Today I wouldn’t get an academic job. It’s as simple as that. I don’t think I would be regarded as productive enough.”
Higgs revealed that his career had also been jeopardised by his disagreements in the 1960s and 70s with the then principal, Michael Swann, who went on to chair the BBC. Higgs objected to Swann’s handling of student protests and to the university’s shareholdings in South African companies during the apartheid regime. “[Swann] didn’t understand the issues, and denounced the student leaders.”
He regrets that the particle he identified in 1964 became known as the “God particle”.
He said: “Some people get confused between the science and the theology. They claim that what happened at Cern proves the existence of God.”
An atheist since the age of 10, he fears the nickname “reinforces confused thinking in the heads of people who are already thinking in a confused way. If they believe that story about creation in seven days, are they being intelligent?”
He also revealed that he turned down a knighthood in 1999. “I’m rather cynical about the way the honours system is used, frankly. A whole lot of the honours system is used for political purposes by the government in power.”
He has not yet decided which way he will vote in the referendum onScottish independence. “My attitude would depend a little bit on how much progress the lunatic right of the Conservative party makes in trying to get us out of Europe. If the UK were threatening to withdraw from Europe, I would certainly want Scotland to be out of that.”
He has never been tempted to buy a television, but was persuaded to watch The Big Bang Theory last year, and said he wasn’t impressed.
Every line of this was mind-boggling and engaging.
Peter Higgs is so awesome.
The one below was on the fridge in the breakroom at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
Damn scientists, ruining everyone else’s lunch…
(Hee, someone on another reblog says, “Sherlock is disappointed…”
(Source: failnation, via night---vale)
Policy: Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims : Nature News & Comment
"One suggestion to improve matters is to encourage more scientists to get involved in politics. Although laudable, it is unrealistic to expect substantially increased political involvement from scientists. Another proposal is to expand the role of chief scientific advisers1, increasing their number, availability and participation in political processes. Neither approach deals with the core problem of scientific ignorance among many who vote in parliaments.
Perhaps we could teach science to politicians? It is an attractive idea, but which busy politician has sufficient time? In practice, policy-makers almost never read scientific papers or books. The research relevant to the topic of the day — for example, mitochondrial replacement, bovine tuberculosis or nuclear-waste disposal — is interpreted for them by advisers or external advocates. And there is rarely, if ever, a beautifully designed double-blind, randomized, replicated, controlled experiment with a large sample size and unambiguous conclusion that tackles the exact policy issue.
In this context, we suggest that the immediate priority is to improve policy-makers’ understanding of the imperfect nature of science. The essential skills are to be able to intelligently interrogate experts and advisers, and to understand the quality, limitations and biases of evidence. We term these interpretive scientific skills. These skills are more accessible than those required to understand the fundamental science itself, and can form part of the broad skill set of most politicians.”
Not just for politicians; unfortunately, some will distrust even this much critical thinking.
NASA, JPL and the Cassini imaging team debuted a new view of Earth today.
I know what you’re thinking. That’s not Earth, that’s Saturn. Look closer.
Earlier this year, as Cassini happened to pass behind Saturn, eclipsing the sun, its camera was turned toward home. A new silhouette of the ringed planet was captured (you NEED to view it larger here), and just wow, man.
Amid dozens of background stars, four planets and a few million pixels worth of wonder, my favorite part is the hazy outer ring of water vapor, spewed out from the leaky moon Enceladus and its geysers.
Earth appears in the lower right, clear and blue, joined by our moon in this enlarged image:
There’s your new selfie.
Science truly begets beauty.
I was confusing them with a couple of specks of dust on my monitor…
New pale blue dot, indeed.
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The 9th Watch
It’s not a Doctor Who episode. It’s not a metal band. It’s your chance to be a part scientific history.
You have the chance to witness something that no one has ever seen, and make scientific history in the process: The fall of the ninth pitch drop.
The Pitch Drop experiment at the University of Queensland is perhaps the longest-running science experiment in the world. Pitch is a viscous, black substance that is brittle when struck with a hammer, but flows like a liquid when given enough time. And I mean a LOT of time.
A similar experiment in Ireland recently dropped, but the Australian version is the granddaddy of slow science. That one has only dropped eight times in its 86 year history, and no one’s ever been around to see it. Even John Mainstone, who watched over the experiment for more than half a century, sadly passed away this year without ever being present for a drop.
Queensland set up The Ninth Watch website to give people around the world a chance to log on, watch live, and “be there” when the big event happens. It could be any day now. So if you don’t have anywhere to be, head on over, log on and watch. It beats TV, right? For science.
Learn more about the pitch drop experiment with "Never Quite Now" from Radiolab.
I wish I’d known about this when I was there. I was probably in the same building.