September 27, 2010 |
A man in a baseball cap parked a big telescope in an unlikely location recently: the sidewalk at Second and Chestnut Streets. He offered the nighttime crowd in Old City a chance to look at the heavens, but he was also on a scouting mission of sorts. Derrick Pitts was testing the city's appetite for a serious avalanche of science. It was just the merest taste of what is coming here next spring. On Monday, the Franklin Institute and two dozen partners plan to announce the first Philadelphia Science Festival, a two-week celebration of science starting April 15. The festivities include an outdoor science carnival on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a science night with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, movies, lectures, hands-on experiments, demonstrations, and quiz shows.
August 18, 2010 |
At first, Adam Maloof thought they were just mud chips. But after seeing more and more of the red flecks in an ancient section of rocky mountains in South Australia, he noticed they came in odd shapes: tiny rings, anvils, and wishbones. The Princeton University geologist and colleague Catherine V. Rose wondered: Could the flecks, dated to 650 million years ago, be the remnants of living things? After months of sophisticated analysis back in the United States, the scientists made a dramatic announcement Tuesday: They think the odd shapes are the fossils of sponge-like creatures - the earliest animals yet discovered by more than 70 million years.
May 15, 1988 |
While some administration officials may be embarrassed by the recent reports that Nancy Reagan relies on an astrologer to draw up the President's schedule, they shouldn't worry too much about what the public will think. Mrs. Reagan has a lot of company. Nearly two-thirds of Americans read astrology reports occasionally, and about 40 percent believe that horoscopes are scientifically credible, the National Science Foundation has found. Not only do an estimated 50 million Americans regularly follow astrology, but 12 million also say they have changed their behavior as a result of astrological advice.
July 31, 1990 |
Morley Richard Kare, 68, a distinguished scientist whose research into the mysteries of smell and taste made a major contribution to the world's understanding of sensory physiology, died yesterday at his home in Narberth. Dr. Kare, a professor of physiology at the University of Pennsylvania since 1968, founded and ran the Monell Chemical Senses Center, an internationally known research and training institution in Philadelphia. He was recognized as a leader, innovator, teacher and administrator in both academia and industry, according to a spokeswoman for Monell.
November 3, 1997 |
It was an announcement that was bound to spark similar claims. Last year, a team of NASA and Stanford University scientists unveiled a colony of possible Martian microorganisms, fossilized and embedded in a meteorite. Now another scientist says he found similar wiggly, wormlike forms lodged in another space rock. NASA astrophysicist Richard Hoover says he identified the fossil bugs in a piece of the Murchison meteorite, named for the place in Australia where it fell in 1969.
October 21, 2012
The Secret Anarchy of Science By Michael Brooks Overlook. 320 pp. $26.95. Reviewed by John Timpane Science reporting and writing suffer the same malady we've had for years with business writing, or writing about the Internet. Almost everyone who writes about it is either a salesperson, pitching like heck for the home team; a current or former practitioner; or a cheerleader. So you never get a straight deal. With science, it's hard not to cheerlead. Its successes, in technology, engineering, and medicine, are spectacular and world-transforming.
February 8, 2007 |
The Bush administration's suppression and distortion of scientific research in federal agencies has been both widespread and remarkable - and it cannot be allowed to continue. The new Congress has an opportunity to restore integrity and objectivity to federal science, and prevent its continued manipulation for political purposes. To achieve this, Congress must protect the whistle-blower rights of federal government scientists. By continually weakening critical science agencies, this administration is threatening our nation's unparalleled legacy of scientific achievement.
June 7, 1990 |
Over history's long march we can thank the world's scientists for many of life's wonders as we know and enjoy them - the wheel, flush toilets, ballpoint pens, atomic bombs and Jeeps driven by young maniacs. And we can also thank scientists for what have become endless informative commentaries about our world, its beginnings and its doom, a torrent of commentaries of such variety it seems there are as many scientific conclusions as there are scientists to conclude. In a widening stream of articles and broadcasts which typically begin, "Scientists say . . . " we're assured on a weekly basis that the planet is warming, that it's not warming and it might be cooling, that the data are too sketchy to make a judgment and it doesn't make any difference in the long run anyway because these things have been happening for eons and it's best to relax and try to think about something pleasant.
September 11, 1995 |
A team of New Jersey scientists working on ways to grow plants without dirt and to recycle stems, leaves and roots without a trace has been awarded a $5 million NASA grant that may help promote a project they hope to build at Burlington County's Resource Recovery Complex. The scientists - professors from Rutgers University in New Brunswick and Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken - hope the NASA award will boost an upcoming application for $5 million to $7 million in state funds to build an ECO Complex.
November 18, 1998 |
The chairman of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission said yesterday that human cloning would be "very difficult, if not impossible, to try to stop. " His comments came as the commission met to consider an urgent request by President Clinton that the group immediately take up the issue of human cloning. That plea followed stunning reports that human embryonic cells had been created by merging human DNA with a donor cow egg. "I am deeply troubled by this news of experiments involving the mingling of human and nonhuman species," Clinton wrote.