Macroscope is a platform for invited guest scientists, engineers and mathematicians to discuss what’s going on in their field that may be relevant to those in other fields. We provide a platform for readers from different fields to connect and discuss an emerging problem, puzzle, or paradigm. By bringing together many voices, we start a new, crossdisciplinary conversation and synthesize novel ideas.

Showing Up to Shape the Science March

Megan K. HalpernMar 23, 2017

Embracing multiple meanings and shared experiences strengthens the call to action.

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Undoing Tattoos

Raychelle BurksMar 20, 2017

From antiquity to the modern day, tattoo removal has required tattoo holders to put some skin in the game. But the science has come a long way.

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March Mammal Madness, Science Communication’s “Big Dance,” Is Back

David ShiffmanMar 6, 2017

The annual Twitter event returns with 64 mammal species ready to fight to the virtual death for your entertainment and education.

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News Flash: Science Has Always Been Political

Adam ShapiroFeb 21, 2017

The March for Science has reignited an old debate about the nature of objectivity and scientific authority.

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Using Twitter Hashtags for Science Education

David ShiffmanFeb 7, 2017

#CougarOrNot, #NotACopperhead, #DamOrNot, and #ButtOfWhat open up conversations about the joys and challenges of walking in an ecologist’s shoes (or… hiking boots).

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The Consequences of Freezing Federal Science Grants

Lisa HaywardJan 27, 2017

We don’t know how long or which grants are frozen at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency right now, but when my funds were frozen in 2007 it was devastating.

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The Benefits of Twitter for Scientists

David ShiffmanJan 13, 2017

A new study suggests Twitter activity is correlated with higher citation rates, at least for ecological research. But that doesn't mean scientists should necessarily expect a Twitter account to bring them more citations. What benefits can researchers expect from a presence on social media?

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Particle Colliders on the Horizon

Emily ThompsonSep 25, 2016

Once data collection finishes at the Large Hadron Collider in roughly 15 years, what potential facilities will advance particle physics next?

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The Evolution of the 21st-Century Scientist

Brian KurillaAug 12, 2016

As more trained scientists leave traditional career paths, the distinction between scientist and nonscientist blurs.

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Fireworks Go Green

David ChavezJul 1, 2016

Colorful explosions require complicated chemistry. As chemists study the toxicology and air quality effects of fireworks, they can reduce potential environmental impacts.

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The World of Science Blogging

Paige JarreauJun 27, 2016

What do people blog about, why do people write for blogs, and who reads them?

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The Long Haul: Challenges and Rewards of Long-Term Ecological Studies

Carolyn BeansMay 4, 2016

Plants with shorter lifespans tend to be better studied in evolutionary biology and population ecology, because research lasting longer than five years takes, patience, planning, perseverance after setbacks... and reliable funding. But the scientists who tackle long-term studies can reach an unexplored territory where scientific breakthroughs happen.

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Emerging Entomology Research from a New Biodiversity Hotspot

Matthew BertoneMar 22, 2016

At a regional meeting in the southeastern United States, bug experts revealed new research in taxonomy, invasion biology, disease ecology, and microbiomics.

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A Glimpse of Infinity In the Swirling of Light

Gregory J. GburMar 9, 2016

Infinite mathematics, long thought to be impossible to observe, manifests in optical vortices.

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Why Eric Lander’s Controversial Paper “The Heroes of CRISPR” Is Not Solid Historical Research

Michel MorangeFeb 17, 2016

The rise of the CRISPR-Cas9 system was so rapid and ignited such a “craze.” But how reliable is Eric Lander's historical description of “the heroes of CRISPR”?

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Confessions of a Herbarium-Savvy Field Biologist

Carolyn BeansDec 7, 2015

With natural history collections in decline, what's a busy researcher to do with specimens from past studies?

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Up Close with Lemur Gut Bugs

Lydia GreeneOct 29, 2015

The World Lemur Festival starts today, and is a great occasion to celebrate these charismatic primates—and their poop.

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Going Rogue with Optical Waves in the Laboratory

Gregory J. GburOct 21, 2015

New optical research suggests that rogue waves, which can be higher than a 10-story building in the ocean, can form more easily than once thought.

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Pros and Cons of the U.S. Federal Strategy to Protect Pollinators

Kaitlin Stack WhitneySep 17, 2015

While it is laudable to have focused and measurable goals for such a far-reaching federal strategy, in terms of lands and agencies implicated, the three goals of the White House pollinator plan are surprisingly limited in scope.

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How Forensic Scientists Find a Dead Body—
And How Microbes Can Help

Raychelle BurksAug 6, 2015

Finding a dead body within a suspected area is challenging, and new tools can help forensics teams cast a wider net.

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