Dec 7, 2015
With natural history collections in decline, what's a busy researcher to do with specimens from past studies?
Read MoreJul 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.
Read MoreJul 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.
Read MoreJun 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.
Read MoreJun 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.
Read MoreJun 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.
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 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.
Read MoreFeb 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.
Read MoreFeb 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.
Read MoreFeb 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.
Read MoreFeb 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.