August 27, 2014

10:22 AM | Multilingualism and social justice in Europe
Reducing the number of the official languages of the European Union is a bad idea, as Michele Gazzola explains. Replacing the official languages of the EU with only English would not only disadvantage some European countries more than others; it would also cut off many EU residents from understanding key legal documents. These are among […]
10:04 AM | Are Japanese Teachers Less Competent than their Foreign Counterparts?
I know what you’re thinking – how could you suggest that the average teacher in any country is incompetent? Such things depend on the way you define “competence,” and how you measure it. How could you suggest that one of … Continue reading →
7:48 AM | Science is More Creative than Arts
“Science is more Creative than Arts” This was the proposition of the debate that I took part in today as part of CPIT’s Research Month. As you might have guessed I was a member of the affirmative team. It was an interesting experience and very popular – the room we used was filled to capacity. [...]

August 26, 2014

11:47 PM | Some exceptions in biology: Worm-catching fungi
Credit: When most of us hear the word “predator” in the context of the natural sciences, the first thing that comes to mind is something terrifying. Something with fangs, sharp claws, venom or all of the above. Something that is to be reckoned with. Think lions, tigers, wolves, T-Rexes, you get the picture. Did …
5:13 PM | A new website introducing genetic engineering
The Journey of a Gene is a new website at UNL-Nebraska that teaches the basics of genetic engineering. There’s a combination of videos, some from YouTube and some specifically made as well as some interactive sections. The video above, explaining what a gene is, is an example of what they’re bringing in. Later they explain […]
4:16 PM | The Brilliance of Scientific Assumption (Synopsis)
If you’ve ever heard someone dismiss evolution, the Big Bang or climate change as “just a theory” and wanted to pull your hair out, you’re not alone. In science, after all, theories are the most powerful ideas we have to explain the mechanism behind the most intricate observable phenomena in the Universe. But it’s where…
1:41 AM | A Hangout with Google Science Fair in Swaziland
You know what’s awesome? Seeing a bunch of young people at work on changing the world to make it a better place for all. Today, I hosted a Google Science Fair Hangout On Air on Sustainability... -- Read more on

August 25, 2014

9:00 PM | MPA Students Explore Urban Parks
During the second half of the summer semester for Columbia University’s MPA class in Environmental Science and Policy program, the students extended their classroom learning on urban ecology to outdoor field trips in Brooklyn and the Bronx to focus on how restorations of wetlands, forests, and rivers are changing the city.

August 23, 2014

6:40 PM | Dirt Bucket Challange is a Bad Idea
Apparently, in the interest of saving water in drought-stricken California and calling attention to the crisis there, two men dumped dirt over their heads. This is a bad idea, in support of a good cause, in my view. The video has gone viral and shows a dry-land adaptation of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Soil is not only where plants grow, but is also host to many kinds of bacteria …
3:05 PM | A Hangout IN Air–Off a Cliff Face–for Science
When I last did a Google Science Fair Hangout On Air with Jason Osborne and Aaron Alford, founders of Paleo Quest, they were diving in a swamp looking for fossils. Yesterday, they took their fossil... -- Read more on

August 22, 2014

6:16 PM | "When you look at the sunflowers you planted six weeks ago and they now dwarf you, it puts all the..."
“When you look at the sunflowers you planted six weeks ago and they now dwarf you, it puts all the intellectual parts of your learning in a pretty real-world frame of reference — you can see growth visibly come to life, and it’s really satisfying.” - UCLA’s Anne McKnight talking about her class on urban agriculture.
11:30 AM | GeoTalk: Meet Anna Rabitti, winner of I’m a Geoscientist, Get me out of here!
Earlier this year we ran the first ever I’m a Geoscientist, Get me out of here! event, an online chat-based game show in which school kids vote for their favourite geoscience communicators. In this week’s GeoTalk, Sara Mynott  talks to Anna Rabitti, an oceanography PhD student and winner of this year’s I’m a Geoscientist…   […]

August 21, 2014

8:32 PM | Outreach Program: “Ciencia Al Tiro” (Science Immediately)
Ciencia Al Tiro (Science Immediately) is an Outreach program developed to encourage interest in science and technology. Our inspiration was to help the situation of education in Chile where there is an extremely large difference in the quality of education among schools. According to an OECD assessment of student performance, Chile has the largest gap […]
1:04 AM | 4th Day in Stuttgart and Financial Math
As I have already told you in the post 3rd Day in Stuttgart and Cryptography, we had some of the financial math in the same day as Cryptography, but we also had another day especially dedicated to this subject and I … Continue reading →

August 20, 2014

8:47 PM | Back to School: Zombies, Ebola and some cool tunes
Ebola is in the news a lot right now. Could this be The Coming Plague that Laurie Garret warned us about in 1994? By the late 1980s, with the world shaken by the strangest and deadliest arrival of all – HIV and AIDS – Garrett traveled widely in search of understanding: Why did new viruses and bacteria […]
10:30 AM | GeoEd: The Future’s Bright
What got you hooked to science in the first place? More importantly, what or who persuaded you that making science your career was, not only worth considering, but should be actively pursed? I’m sure, I am preaching to the converted; we all think science is not only cool, but a worthwhile and rewarding career path; […]

August 19, 2014

9:58 PM | Why conservationists need a little hope: saving themselves from becoming the most depressing scientists on the planet
Here's a challenge: take a conservationist out for a drink and ask them about their work. Nine times out of ten—or possibly more—you'll walk away feeling frustrated, despondent, and utterly hopeless. Yet a few conservation scientist are not just trying to save species from extinction, but also working to save their field—their life's work—from slipping into total despair.
4:12 PM | Linguistics retraction fails to speak clearly
The Canadian Center of Science and Education has put out a truly useless retraction for a paper published in June 2010 in their journal English Language Teaching. Here’s the notice for “A Solution to Plato’s Problem: Faculty of Language as A Complex Non-Linear System”: The editorial board announced this article has been retracted on August 18, […]
2:05 PM | Hangout with Canopy Researcher Margaret Lowman
Margaret Lowman, who also goes by the nickname “Canopy Meg,” is chief of science and sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences. Her research focuses on life and ecosystems at... -- Read more on
12:53 AM | Deaths That Don’t Have to Happen: The Relationship Between Knowledge and Health
Editor’s note: As part of  a writing class I took this summer, I had to do a group project addressing a social issue within our society. Part of that assignment was writing an essay that promotes activism to address the issue.The research inspired me, so I decided to share that essay with you. Hope you enjoy!  Knowledge, and […]

August 18, 2014

9:14 PM | The 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense
Have you heard of Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? The key to success in any field is practice, and not just a little. A new publication in the journal Psychological Science had a good look at all the evidence and concludes that this rule is nonsense. No Einstein in you, I am afraid. The authors of […]

Macnamara, B.N., Hambrick, D.Z. & Oswald, F.L. (2014). Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions: A Meta-Analysis, Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1037/e633262013-474

5:19 PM | NEW VIDEO! Where does the smell of rain come from? If you said...
NEW VIDEO! Where does the smell of rain come from? If you said “from the sky,” then congratulations! You are hilarious. But it’s a lot more interesting than that. The pungent perfume that accompanies rainstorms carries special chemical signatures, some born from lightning, some from deep within the soil. And beyond just being pleasant and nostalgic, those smells are actually useful to some living things, such as telling plants when it’s time to grow, guiding camels […]
4:00 PM | thebrainscoop: Science Needs Women: For Women in Science; the...
thebrainscoop: Science Needs Women: For Women in Science; the L’Oreal Foundation  I’m sharing this video on any platform I can because when I first found it last week it had something like 1,400 views, but it’s the most beautifully produced and succinctly narrated video addressing some of the most complicated issues facing women in STE(A)M fields I’ve found yet.  I’m sharing this for every time I’m called a […]
3:30 PM | I know you are but what am I? School program paper pulled for duplication
An article on youth development programs in Hong Kong has been retracted for its similarity to another article on youth development programs by the same authors. The paper, “Process Evaluation of a Positive Youth Development Program in Hong Kong Based on Different Cohorts,” appeared in 2012 in The Scientific World Journal, and was written by […]
2:00 PM | Earth Institute Offers Funding for Student Initiatives
In an effort to better support students in their efforts to raise awareness about sustainability on campus, the Earth Institute is making available funding for the new Student Initiatives Support Program, offering grants of up to $250 each semester to support students who wish to host conferences, panels and other events at Columbia University that relate to the work of the Earth Institute.

August 17, 2014

11:35 PM | Kids raid caves in virtual classroom
Remember when going on a school excursion meant a trip to the bowling alley? Or, for a really special occasion, perhaps a visit to the local fun park? Well, things have certainly changed since I was at school. Today, we’re launching what could be Australia’s biggest (and arguably coolest) school excursion ever. In classrooms around […]
10:36 PM | Lack of Education: The Real Reason for the Spread of Ebola
Since the latest Ebola outbreak began in March, there have been more than 2,100 reported cases and 1,145 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. This is already by far the most serious Ebola outbreak in recorded history. But the disease isn’t some super-virus that is spreading through the air and infecting anyone who comes […]

August 16, 2014

8:49 PM | August linkdump
The company that makes OldReader, the RSS reader I fled to after the sad demise of Google Reader, is from Madison!  OK, Middleton.  Still part of Silicon Isthmus. I never new that Mark Alan Stamaty, one of my favorite cartoonists, did the cover of the first They Might Be Giants album. Hey I keep saying […]
11:44 AM | Marriage vs. The Ph.D.

August 15, 2014

10:42 PM | What a Mathematician should visit in London
Heyyy!!! I am really happy, cause the first thing that happened when I open WordPress was a big notification about my stats are booming!!! And WoooOOooWww! they are… Thank you so very much, I am so excited to see that … Continue reading →
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