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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The Day the Bomb Dropped

Fenella SaundersJul 16, 2015

On the 70th anniversary of the first successful nuclear weapon test, we've collected a selection of articles and book reviews from American Scientist that cover this controversial topic from multiple angles.

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Celebrating 25 Years in North Carolina

Katie-Leigh CorderJul 1, 2015

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society moved from Connecticut to North Carolina in 1990 to be in the heart of the Research Triangle. We’re celebrating our 25-year anniversary of calling North Carolina home! Since then, we’ve experienced the state’s vibrant scientific research and diverse landscapes, from the mountains to the sea.

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The Cool Factor: Air Conditioning's History in Images

Dianne Timblin, Barbara AulicinoJun 27, 2015

In honor of the first week of summer, we’re revisiting the book Cool: How Air Conditioning Changed Everything, by Salvatore Basile, with a collection of images as well as some additional discussion of the book. We like to think of it as the summertime-release, extended dance version of our original review.

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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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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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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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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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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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Evergreen Articles

Fenella SaundersFeb 9, 2015

When I have the opportunity to review the older issues of American Scientist, I always find a few gems that seem to stand the test of time...Read more.

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