Mar 23, 2017
Embracing multiple meanings and shared experiences strengthens the call to action.
Read MoreMar 6, 2017
The annual Twitter event returns with 64 mammal species ready to fight to the virtual death for your entertainment and education.
Read MoreFeb 21, 2017
The March for Science has reignited an old debate about the nature of objectivity and scientific authority.
Read MoreFeb 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).
Read MoreJan 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?
Read MoreOct 26, 2016
If you’re considering how to write for, speak to, or have conversations with those who may be resistant to the idea that climate change is happening and is caused by human activities, here is an overview of communication ideas that the climate change literature has explored so far.
Read MoreAug 25, 2016
The term lacks a coherent meaning and leads to unnecessary polarization, mistrust, disrespectfulness, and confusion around science issues.
Read MoreAug 12, 2016
As more trained scientists leave traditional career paths, the distinction between scientist and nonscientist blurs.
Read MoreJun 27, 2016
What do people blog about, why do people write for blogs, and who reads them?
Read MoreJul 31, 2015
Learning the principles of journalistic nonfiction often requires scientist authors to step away from an academic writing style that has come to feel intuitive. Nevertheless, using these principles can make the scientist’s work more relatable, memorable, and trusted.
Read MoreJul 14, 2015
Inventor Dean Kamen is resolved to engineer clean water for the entire world, and he might just do it. Included is a clip from the documentary SlingShot about Kamen's latest invention.
Read MoreJun 19, 2015
The recipient of Sigma Xi’s 2015 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, entomologist May Berenbaum, has been called on as a public expert on honeybees. She shares her thoughts with Heather Thorstensen, Sigma Xi’s manager of communications, on the recently released—and the first—National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.
Read MoreJun 16, 2015
As an insect ecologist, the driving force behind my career choices is to conserve insects and biodiversity, but I often feel like those who sound the call to “Save the bees!” are missing the point. In honor of National Pollinator Week, I’d like to add some nuance that seems to be missing from the conversation so far, particularly with regard to pollinators and pesticides.
Read MoreJun 15, 2015
Paired videos recently debuted on two well-known science YouTube channels. I saw the title, “The Truth about Toilet Swirl,” and I was intrigued. So I clicked. My first thought was incredulity, followed by many more thoughts best described as expressing a healthy dose of skepticism. There was no way Earth’s rotation was moving water in something as tiny as a 1.5 meter kiddie pool by way of the Coriolis effect. Or was there?
Read MoreMay 18, 2015
Neuroscientist Ahmad Hariri explains how the watchdog of the brain—the amygdala—is overactive in those with depression and anxiety.
Read MoreMay 7, 2015
We recently published an article about the results of a 4.5-year program of research on gender’s influence on faculty hiring preferences for tenure-track STEM assistant professorships. Our methods brought up an interesting issue about the types of adjectives used to describe job applicants, one that we did not have space to address in the paper.
Read MoreMay 5, 2015
A student in one of my daughter's high school math class stood up in disgust and exclaimed "Why do we have to learn math for 12 years when we are never going to use any of it?" You might think that as a mathematics educator I would find this statement upsetting. Instead, the student’s question got me thinking about the fact that she saw no connection between the mathematics and her future. How might mathematical modeling improve the experience of mathematics for students such as the one in my daughter’s class?
Read MoreMay 1, 2015
When I’m putting my 3.5-year-old to bed every night, we have some down time where we just hang out on her bed together. One night I looked at her and asked, “Want me to tell you a science story?” She said, “Yes!”
Read MoreApr 27, 2015
Inspiration for a cover doesn’t always come right away, and at first nothing was quickening the pulse for the May–June issue of American Scientist. Although the topics themselves were compelling, consider the imagery conjured up by our feature article lineup...
Read MoreApr 22, 2015
It’s doubtful we would have Earth Day without Rachel Carson. Her pioneering 1962 book Silent Spring sparked the environmental movement and infused ecological ideas into mainstream thinking. So to recognize this date, I combed through the archives of American Scientist to get a sense of how scientists have discussed Carson and Silent Spring over time.