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Posts

April 23, 2014

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6:55 PM | Talking Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria
Earlier this week I sat down with my friend Cara Santa Maria to chat on her excellent podcast, Talk Nerdy. The conversation was wide-ranging: we talked about the discovery of a new group of insects... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:55 PM | Talking Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria
Earlier this week I sat down with my friend Cara Santa Maria to chat on her excellent podcast, Talk Nerdy. The conversation was wide-ranging: we talked about the discovery of a new group of insects... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:54 PM | SEM Link will be at The USA Science Festival in Washington DC
This weekend is the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. Are you going?  I wish I were.  I met the founder of this amazing event, Larry Bock in 2010, before the inaugural festival... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:38 PM | Blue-Footed Boobies Have Stopped Breeding—But Why?
One of the most delightful bird species of the Galápagos has almost completely stopped breeding there. According to a new study published this week in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 22, 2014

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5:41 PM | Long time coming: African-American Civil Rights Organizations embrace Environmentalism
When I started blogging 8 years ago, the blogosphere like a lonely place. I hadn’t yet met another Black Science blogger (and I wouldn’t come across another one for 2.5 years), so when I... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:28 PM | Does the Octopus Really “Fart” Ink?—and Other Strange Facts [Video]
It’s true that the octopus is super weird. These animals have blue blood and three hearts. And as online personality and humorist Ze Frank points out in his latest video creation, it seems that... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:00 PM | Giant Tusked Insect Saved from Extinction (Just in the Nick of Time)
The Mercury Islands tusked weta (Motuweta isolate) isn’t exactly a thing of beauty. These massive New Zealand insects can reach more than seven centimeters in length, including the impressive... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:25 PM | Why Wall Street Needs Remedial Biology
There’s been a lot of chatter this month about high frequency trading, due in large part to the release of Michael Lewis’s latest book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. We all love a story of heroes... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 21, 2014

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4:35 PM | SciAm & Read Science! Chat with Neil Shubin
I am very pleased to announce that Neil Shubin, author of “Your Inner Fish” and host of a PBS program by the same name, currently airing over the past several weeks, will be joining... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:00 PM | The Perfect 46: The Future is Near
Visit theperfect46.com, and it looks like any business web page. The Perfect 46 purports to be a company that uses the power of genomics, the information stored in the entirety of your DNA–your... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:30 PM | What’s the Deal with Euclid’s Fourth Postulate?
In February, I wrote about Euclid’s parallel postulate, the black sheep of the big, happy family of definitions, postulates, and axioms that make up the foundations of Euclidean geometry. I... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:44 AM | You Should Know: Shareef Jackson
Welcome to my second installment of You Should Know, where I give my own #ScholarSunday salute to Science Bloggers and Blogs you may have been sleeping on. Introducing…. Shareef Jackson and... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 20, 2014

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1:17 AM | Meet Australia’s Easter Bunny: the Long-Eared Greater Bilby
Easter in Australia is pretty much the same as Easter elsewhere in the world. We do Easter egg hunts and put sad-looking yellow chickens with loose eyespots on display in straw nests and eat nothing... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 19, 2014

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6:19 PM | Introduction to Traditional Peer Review
Peer review was introduced to scholarly publication in 1731 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which published a collection of peer-reviewed medical articles. Despite this early start, in many... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Bailar, J. (2011). Reliability, fairness, objectivity and other inappropriate goals in peer review, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14 (01) 137-138. DOI:

Biagioli, M. (2002). From Book Censorship to Academic Peer Review, Emergences: Journal for the Study of Media & Composite Cultures, 12 (1) 11-45. DOI:

Benos DJ, Bashari E, Chaves JM, Gaggar A, Kapoor N, LaFrance M, Mans R, Mayhew D, McGowan S, Polter A & Qadri Y (2007). The ups and downs of peer review., Advances in physiology education, 31 (2) 145-52. PMID:

Bornman, L. (2008). Scientific Peer Review: An Analysis of the Peer Review Process from the Perspective of Sociology of Science Theories, Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, 6 (2)

Brown, R. (2006). Double Anonymity and the Peer Review Process, The Scientific World JOURNAL, 6 1274-1277. DOI:

Callaham ML, Baxt WG, Waeckerle JF & Wears RL (1998). Reliability of editors' subjective quality ratings of peer reviews of manuscripts., JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 280 (3) 229-31. PMID:

Godlee, F., Gale, C. & Martyn, C. (1998). Effect on the Quality of Peer Review of Blinding Reviewers and Asking Them to Sign Their Reports, JAMA, 280 (3) 237. DOI:

Lee, C. J.,, Sugimoto, C. R.,, Zhang, G., & Cronin, B. (2013). Bias in Peer Review, JASIST, 64 (1) 2-17.

Spier R (2002). The history of the peer-review process., Trends in biotechnology, 20 (8) 357-8. PMID:

Citation
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2:35 PM | Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs
Roy Chapman Andrews was not only an intrepid explorer and palaeontologist, but also a gifted promoter. The Central Asiatic Expeditions were accompanied by cameras to document the entire work. As the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:35 PM | Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs
Roy Chapman Andrews was not only an intrepid explorer and palaeontologist, but also a gifted promoter. The Central Asiatic Expeditions were accompanied by cameras to document the entire work. As the conditions were most time prohibitive – relief from the burning sun was given only by frequent sandstorms – many scenes showing the discovery and [...]
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9:23 AM | Physics Week in Review: April 19, 2014
This week fans of the night sky and space exploration celebrated the Birth of Human Spaceflight, with Yuri’s Night. Related (kinda): “You can’t take the sky from me.” The... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 17, 2014

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4:04 PM | Alligator Snapping Turtles, the Dinosaurs of the Turtle World, Are Actually 3 at-Risk Species
Alligator snapping turtles look pretty intimidating. These massive, prehistoric-looking reptiles can reach more than 66 centimeters in length and weigh more than 100 kilograms. Add in their unusual... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:00 PM | Pub-Style Science: dreams of objectivity in a game built around power.
This is the third and final installment of my transcript of the Pub-Style Science discussion about how (if at all) philosophy can (or should) inform scientific knowledge-building. Leading up to this... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:17 PM | Vitruvian Geology – Leonardo da Vinci and the Realistic Depiction of the Earth’s Surface
In the Renaissance (1450-1600) architecture and pictorial arts, but also scientific disciplines like astronomy, physics and medicine, experienced a rebirth and important improvements – but what... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:17 PM | Vitruvian Geology – Leonardo da Vinci and the Realistic Depiction of the Earth’s Surface
In the Renaissance (1450-1600) architecture and pictorial arts, but also scientific disciplines like astronomy, physics and medicine, experienced a rebirth and important improvements – but what about geology? There were some lone geniuses in the earth sciences – Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci (born April 15, 1452-1519) recognized fossils as petrified remains of former living [...]
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11:30 AM | Winter Is Coming… So Wear the Right Clothes
The April 6th Game of Thrones episode, “Two Swords,” eased the HBO series out of the gate and into its fourth season. With this Sunday’s episode, “The Lion and the Rose,” and King Joffrey’s Purple... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 16, 2014

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3:52 PM | A Month of Math, Magic and Mystery
Haven’t got the Math Awareness Month bug yet? Here are three teasers to get you started: 1. What read the same right side up and upside down, and combine mathematics, art, and language? Ambigrams, of... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:45 PM | Wordless Wednesday: Pouched Rat having a treat
This is a video recording of me introducing a new snack to the African Giant Pouched Rats (Cricetomys ansorgei) – fresh pumpkin seeds. This fellow really seems to like it. I’m super... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:25 PM | Pub-Style Science: exclusion, inclusion, and methodological disputes.
This is the second part of my transcript of the Pub-Style Science discussion about how (if at all) philosophy can (or should) inform scientific knowledge-building, wherein we discuss methodological... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 15, 2014

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8:53 PM | Pub-Style Science: philosophy, hypotheses, and the scientific method.
Last week I was honored to participate in a Pub-Style Science discussion about how (if at all) philosophy can (or should) inform scientific knowledge-building. Some technical glitches... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:10 PM | Bat-Killing Fungus Now Found in 25 U.S. States
The news for bats in the U.S. keeps getting worse. Last week conservation officials announced that the bat-killing white-nose syndrome (WNS) has been found in Michigan and Wisconsin. The disease,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:31 AM | Four New Species of Deep-Sea Killer Sponge Discovered
Four new species of carnivorous sea sponge have been discovered in a place where ridiculous adaptations for sourcing food seem about as widespread as horrific ways to die – the deep sea. Following... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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12:54 AM | “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” is 2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner!
I am always thrilled when a science themed book wins the General Non-Fiction Pulitzer Prize. Some of my favorites from previous years include the following: 2011 Siddhartha Mukherjee “The... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

April 14, 2014

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1:07 PM | Copernicus in Cleveland
What is our cosmic significance? Does it even make sense to ask a question like that? If you happen to find yourself in Cleveland, Ohio this coming Thursday evening, and stop by the Cleveland Museum... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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