June 23, 2011

Arsenic and Scientific Controversy

The June 3 issue of Science contained a research article written by a NASA astrobiologist fellow, Felisa Wolfe-Simon, and her colleagues titled “A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus.” The manuscript reports...

June 8, 2011

What’s the value of higher education?

There have been a number of articles recently discussing the “value” of a college education (such as this one in the New Yorker) . In other words, given the cost in time and money, is it...

June 2, 2011

Another editorial about teaching the process of science

There have been a lot of editorials in Science and other venues over the past couple of years, calling for more teaching of the process of science. The latest is in the most recent issues of...

May 31, 2011

Teaching about Ethics

I asked students in my research preparation class to read our module on Scientific Ethics, and started the next class by asking them their thoughts and questions about it. One student asked, “How much fraud is...

May 25, 2011

Thinking One Level Up

I was walking through the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University a couple weeks ago, and stumbled upon a group of high school students in one of the galleries, with a tour guide and a couple...

May 24, 2011

Celebrating Diversity

It’s been a devastating two weeks in terms of weather and natural events. Floods in the Southern US, tornadoes in the Midwest, volcanic eruptions in Iceland…I guess we should be glad that the greatest earthquake in...

May 12, 2011

Inspiring Would-be Scientists

Let’s face it: we’ve all had a crisis of faith (or three) during the course of our career development. Whether we’re students still working through the long list of required courses, academics trying to build our...

May 10, 2011

When the Moon is in the Seventh House…

…and Jupiter aligns with Mars…. Okay, we’ll spare you our singing. But what we won’t spare you is the heads up that this is a great month, and a brilliant week in particular, for stargazing. Throughout...

April 29, 2011

Endeavor’s Last Flight

As the Space Shuttle Endeavor prepares for its last voyage (scheduled for liftoff today), we would like to take a moment to wish the captain and crew of this voyage safe travels. The Endeavor is a...

March 30, 2011

Using Science to Teach English Grammar and Reading

It was a wonderful day when President Obama announced the National Math and Science Initiative, drawing attention to the reality that American students are lagging behind many first-world countries in math and science. It did none...