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On the Cover

July-August 2012 Volume 100, Number 4

A time-lapse photograph shows discharges of static electricity from the tines of a fork to four metal electrodes. ...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Vocal Matching in Animals

Kendra Sewall

Imitating the calls of group members and mates is a reliable signal of social bonds in some animal species


What Creates Static Electricity?

Meurig W. Williams

Traditionally considered a physics problem, the answer is beginning to emerge from chemistry and other sciences


Acquiring Literacy Naturally *

Dominic Massaro

Behavioral science and technology could empower preschool children to learn to read naturally without instruction


The Study of Climate on Alien Worlds

Kevin Heng

Characterizing atmospheres beyond our Solar System is now within our reach


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ BOOKSHELF

Book Reviewing in the Sciences: A Conversation

Carl Zimmer, Phillip Manning, Anna Lena Phillips

Three science writers and editors consider the state of science book reviews

See all book reviews for this issue.


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITOR

Bringing the World(s) Down to Size

This issue's diverse sources

David Schoonmaker

MACROSCOPE

Accounting for Climate in Ranking Countries' Carbon Dioxide Emissions

A system that includes the variable of local climate provides a fairer measure of carbon dioxide emissions

Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle

COMPUTING SCIENCE

The Manifest Destiny of Artificial Intelligence

Will AI create mindlike machines, or will it show how much a mindless machine can do?

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Government Bridge*

Separated by the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities have their fair share of notable engineering stories

Henry Petroski

MARGINALIA

The Fear of the Known

Publishing the genetic sequence of a transmissible influenza virus might be scary, but harder decisions are yet to come

Robert L. Dorit

SIGHTINGS

Biodiversity's Invisible Palette

The Carnegie Airborne Observatory illuminates a hidden universe of forest ecology

Elsa Youngsteadt

SCIENCE OBSERVER

Decoding a Flower's Message

Floral fragrance does more than beckon pollinators

Elsa Youngsteadt

In the News

CLASSIC FEATURE

75 Reasons to Become a Scientist

In this classic article first published in 1986, American Scientist's 75th year, 75 scientists offer their reasons for entering their fields.

... and 25 More

As part of our centennial celebrations this year, we've asked 25 additional scientists and engineers to chime in about their inspirations, to bring our count up to 100 reasons.

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Scientists and Motherhood

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Something's Fishy

Graph Spree

SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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