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On the Cover

July-August 2016
Volume 104, Number 4

The 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was the worst wildfire in the state’s history. Shown here burning out of control on June 26, three days after the fire began, it ultimately lasted 18 days, blazing through more than 18,000 acres of public and private land, destroying 347 homes, and killing two people....


FEATURE ARTICLES

Coexisting with Wildfire

Max A. Moritz, Scott Gabriel Knowles

Promoting the right kind of fire—and smarter development—is safer and more cost-effective than fighting a losing battle.


A Constructive Chemical Conversation *

Alison Grinthal, Wim L. Noorduin, Joanna Aizenberg

Precisely timed series of interventions lead to the growth of a variety of complex, three-dimensional microscale structures.


The Road Ahead

Henry Petroski

Designers envisioning the future have not always been able to foretell  advances in automotive and motorway technology.


G. Evelyn Hutchinson’s Exultation in Natural History *

Laura J. Martin

The ecologist most remembered for bringing experimental work to a largely observational field nevertheless loved and promoted organismal description.


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ NIGHTSTAND

Torchbearers

Dianne Timblin

There are almost 2,000 species of fireflies, and Tufts University biologist Sara Lewis’s fascination with the creatures is so captivating that readers may want to learn about them all.

See all book reviews for this issue


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITORS

Overcoming the Bystander Effect

Jamie L. Vernon

ARTS LAB

The Art and Science of Solar Eclipses

After 150 years of expeditions, we have finally arrived at a definitive understanding of the corona revealed by solar eclipses.

Richard Woo

ENGINEERING

How Paperweights Emerged from the Desk of Necessity*

Objects that keep papers from blowing around demonstrate the role that resourcefulness can play in the design process.

Henry Petroski

INFOGRAPHIC

Reducing Vehicle Emissions


LETTER TO THE EDITORS

Habitability Criteria

Past Stoplight Sequences

A Crusty Englishman

PERSPECTIVE

The Tales We All Must Tell

Public confessions of misdeeds against nature can inspire environmental awareness, commitment, and action.

Robert Louis Chianese

SIGHTINGS

A Computed Flame

To understand how fuel burns in a diesel engine takes chemistry knowledge and supercomputing muscle.

Robert Frederick

SPOTLIGHT

The Latest on Homo naledi

A recent addition to the human family tree doesn't fit in clearly yet.

John Hawks

First Person: Michael Spencer

Q&A with Cornell University electrical engineer and computer scientist Michael Spencer on using betavoltaic devices in place of batteries.

Fenella Saunders

Briefings


SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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