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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 Storify: Introducing Homo naledi

Sandra J. AckermanSep 24, 2015

At the recent meeting of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution in London, senior editor Sandra Ackerman documented the announcement of the fossil discovery of a new human species. Here's her summary.


The Power of the Little Guy

Fenella SaundersJul 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.

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May Berenbaum on the New U. S. Strategy to Promote Pollinator Health

Heather ThorstensenJun 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.

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A Tail of Two Moths

William E. ConnerJun 9, 2015

I predicted that any insect that flies at night must have a way of dealing with their fiercest nocturnal predators—bats. More recent findings by Akito Kawahara of the University of Florida and my former graduate student Jesse Barber of Boise State University confirm this prediction in two exciting ways.

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2,877 Hours in a Personal Spacecraft One-Tenth of an Inch Thick

Jun 3, 2015

June 3 marks the 50th anniversary of the first American space walk, or Extravehicular Activity (EVA) in NASA terms. The technology and design of space suits—called Extravehicular Mobility Units in NASA parlance—has also evolved greatly over the past 50 years. In the September-October 2015 issue of American Scientist, we will feature an article from Dave Cadogan, Director of Engineering at ILC Dover, the only company that currently makes US space suits.

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Big Data and the Individual Patient

Sandra J. AckermanMay 29, 2015

The number-crunching power of large clinical trials can sometimes blur unique features that affect the outcome of treatment for a particular patient.

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The Real Twilight Zone

Fenella SaundersMay 11, 2015

Besides being Richard Feynman’s birthday, May 11 marks National Twilight Zone Day. The establisher of the holiday, as well as the reason this date was chosen, is appropriately murky (it’s not the date the show first aired). We like to think that Feynman might have been amused by the association.

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The Many Faces of Richard Feynman

Fenella SaundersMay 11, 2015

May 11 marks what would have been the 97th birthday of Richard Feynman, the legendary physicist who helped to found the field of quantum electrodynamics. Feynman’s name has often graced the pages of American Scientist. Here we collect a dozen links as a jumping-off point for those looking to know more about this fascinating scientist.

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Describing Applicants in Gendered Language Might Influence Academic Science Hiring

Wendy M. Williams, Stephen J. CeciMay 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.

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5 Reasons to Teach Mathematical Modeling

Rachel LevyMay 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?

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Celebrate Indie Bookstore Day with 6 Books from Indie Publishers

Dianne TimblinMay 2, 2015

To celebrate Independent Bookstore Day we couldn’t resist recommending some reads worth seeking out (or ordering from) your favorite independent bookstore. And as usual, our celebration here at Science Culture comes with a twist: We’re going all-indie today, focusing specifically on science, math, and tech books issued by independent publishers—truly the unsung (and occasionally unpaid) heroes of the book-producing world. Culled from a long and worthy list, here are six recommendations for the day.

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From the Archives: Scientists’ Conversations About Rachel Carson and DDT, 1944 to Today

Katie L. BurkeApr 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.

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A Fool’s Errand: Writing Science Spoofs to Enthrall, Not Annoy

Dianne TimblinApr 2, 2015

Here at Science Culture Central, we’ve spent April Fools’ week chatting about science and technology spoofs. How exactly do some of these stories burrow their way into our skeptical hearts? We examined some of our favorites, new and old, and noticed that certain aspects stood out.

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Macroscope, Rebooted

Katie L. BurkeMar 13, 2015

American Scientist’s print magazine is published every two months, and we value the time that cycle affords us in crafting high-quality, in-depth stories about scientific research. But with this blog, we hope to provide readers with more varied and more frequent content.

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How Much Sleep is Just Right?

Sandra J. AckermanMar 9, 2015

We’ve all heard warnings about the damage that too little sleep can inflict on immune resistance, blood pressure, and insulin sensitivity—to say nothing of mood. But what harm could possibly come from too much?

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Time to Save the Leap Second

David FinklemanFeb 25, 2015

For millennia, fundamental units of time were referenced this way. The ever-changing Earth rotation interval was divided into 86,400 seconds. But Earth rotation is not constant and is unpredictable. This meant that the duration of a second had to be changed occasionally to maintain essential synchronization with Earth rotation.

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Charles Darwin on Social Media

Barbara Aulicino, Fenella SaundersFeb 13, 2015

If Facebook had existed in Charles Darwin’s day, and you were friends with him, the site would have automatically reminded you of his birthday on February 12.

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Robot Explorers Lose One of Their Own

Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, Mark MolineFeb 13, 2015

Drs. Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, and Mark Moline wrote about their research with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) in a past issue of American Scientist. Unfortunately, an AUV called Nereus experienced a catastrophic failure in May of 2014. Read the authors's tribute about this event.

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Doodling the Science News Headlines

Tom Dunne, Fenella SaundersFeb 11, 2015

A headline is designed to convey the gist of a story, and also entice a reader to want more information. But sometimes the headlines themselves can inspire the imagination. Resident cartoonist and Contributing Art Director, Tom Dunne, created some off-the-cuff doodles, based solely on the headlines from Sigma Xi's SmartBrief.

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