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On the Cover

March-April 2012 Volume 100, Number 2

A man in a hard hat gives some scale to the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector, one of two detectors on the Large Hadron Collider ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Gemstones *

Lee A. Groat

The rarity of these glittering jewels makes them valuable to geologists studying conditions deep in the Earth


When Scientists Choose Motherhood

Wendy M. Williams, Stephen J. Ceci

A single factor goes a long way in explaining the dearth of women in math-intensive fields. How can we address it?


A Palette of Particles *

Jeremy Bernstein

Some elementary particles arrived like unexpected and, sometimes, unwanted guests


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Skeletons in the Biomedical Closet

Hugh Gusterson

A review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. This story of medicine, genetics, ethics and race has received much acclaim, and appropriately so, says Gusterson; readers who have not picked it up yet should add it to their reading list

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITOR

So Big!

Contemplating the Large Hadron Collider

David Schoonmaker

MACROSCOPE

The British Longitude Act Reconsidered

Was it responsible governance or was it subterfuge?

William E. Carter and Merri Sue Carter

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Pixels or Perish

The art of scientific illustration will have to adapt to the new age of online publishing

Brian Hayes

CLASSIC MARGINALIA

Dodos and Solitaires

In 1954, a renowned Yale University ecologist presses his colleagues to record everything that is known about vanishing species

G. Evelyn Hutchinson

SLIDE SHOW

An Illustrative Tradition

View some of our favorite illustrations created to accompany American Scientist articles in this slide show

ENGINEERING

Opening Doors*

Handles so handy that they’re fit for paws

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

Long Live the Intermediate!

What’s in between in a reaction matters just as much as what sets it off

Roald Hoffmann

SIGHTINGS

Capturing Protein Interactions

Map offers insight into the company that proteins keep

Catherine Clabby

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Bring on the Soft Robots

Hard isn’t always more resilient or useful

Fenella Saunders

The Other Honey

A new research center in Ghana adds to the global growth of stingless-bee beekeeping for pollination and honey

Elsa Youngsteadt

In the News

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Shifting Baselines

Miles Per Gallon of Biofuel

Snails in Peril

Hologram History

Software Engineering: What Works?

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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