“You Are Welcome Here”: Small Stickers Make a Big Difference for LGBTQ Scientists
Upon entering, I immediately noticed tiny stickers dotting the halls: the iconic WHOI ship, sailing in front of a rainbow sky over the words, “You are welcome here.” I can’t describe how powerful it was to see those welcome messages on the office doors of scientists’ whose work had inspired me to pursue biological oceanography – in a building commemorating an oceanographer, Alfred C. Redfield, who discovered a conserved atomic ratio between carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus that I think about in my research every day. The ship stickers are small, maybe even easy to miss if you’re not attuned, but they packed a punch strong enough to rid me of my worries. I left the Redfield Building with renewed vigor, confident about what I was pursuing, only worried about feet that were literally wet, but not figuratively.
Approximately 176 million women and girls worldwide suffer from endometriosis; 8.5 million in North America alone. Associated costs of the disease are estimated to be a staggering $22 billion annually. The pain can be debilitating and infertility is a common outcome. Yet after decades of research, the jury is still out on what causes it, and many doctors still don't even know when they should be looking for it. Now, a group of researchers at MIT have taken a new approach, one with a characteristic engineering slant.
MIT Media Lab's Silk Pavilion, a geometric structure machine-woven with silk thread and then reinforced by the efforts of 6500 silkworms. Watch the beautifully-done making-of video.
Defense contractor takes break from F-35 JSF, finds a way to eliminate 99% of the energy cost of desalination. Lockheed-Martin has developed a way to craft sheets of carbon a single atom thick, which can filter the salt (and just about anything else) from water with a tiny fraction of the energy required by current processes. "Lockheed officials see other applications for Perforene as well, from dialysis in healthcare to cleaning chemicals from the water used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," of oil and gas wells." Previously.
MIT is leading an NSF-funded project with researchers from University of Pennsylvania and Harvard that aims to enable anyone to "design, customize and print a specialized robot in a matter of hours." Constructed from "cyber-physical primitives," the robots (some early examples here) would be able to be made in bulk on demand and could help change the entire workflow of device and robot creation, from engineering to warehousing to assembly.
"One of the deep, dark secrets of America's past has finally come to light. Starting in the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of American children were warehoused in institutions by state governments." An early part of the American experiment with Eugenics, the Walter E. Fernald State School inspired scores of similar institutions across the country, and more recently, one of the definitive histories of the era. [more inside]
"Science writing tackles big ideas, important issues. It’s ambitious, creative, hard to do—yet utterly compelling."
SCOPE is the all-online student publication for MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing. [more inside]
The internet is full of answers, and some of them might even be true. For almost 20 years, the the Newton BBS has been a source of answers to science questions that may be accessed directly via the Web
as well as through telnet (no public telnet access any more, sorry). The Newton BBS "Ask A Scientist" archive has answers from 15 science fields, from astronomy to zoology, for a total of more than 20,000 questions answered. This was covered previously, and the site is aimed at teachers and students from grades K-12, so io9's Ask a Physicist questions (with answers from Dr. Dave Goldberg) might be more engaging. See also: MIT's Ask An Engineer.
Researchers at MIT and in Korea have developed a new, efficient desalinization nanotechnology that could theoretically lead to small, portable units powered by solar cells or batteries, yet deliver enough potable fresh water from seawater to supply the needs of a family or small village. As an added bonus, the system would simultaneously remove many contaminants, viruses and bacteria. MIT Press Release. Abstract and Supplementary Information from Nature Nanotechnology. (pdf) [more inside]
Visionary Engineer : the Harold 'Doc' Edgerton digital collection consolidates the large body of work by the pioneer of stroboscopic high-speed photography. Iconic pictures, for instance. [via Slice of MIT] [more inside]
Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid has been recorded as a series of video lectures for MIT's Open Courseware project.
Swinging from pendulums and facing down wrecking balls, MIT professor Walter Lewin shows students the zany beauty of science.
Knight Science Journalism Tracker is a new-ish blog (project of a program at MIT and Charles Petit) that follows science writing and reporting in a very wide range of publications. It's a good way to learn about how science news is reported, and an efficient way to keep up with the news itself. [some recent examples]
This year, MIT is free. Well, not really -- you won't get the degree, and you won't get to talk to the top minds in science or stay in a really cool dorm. But OpenCourseWare provides, as Wired puts it, "Every lecture [sometimes on video, sometimes only the notes], every handout, every quiz." Curious about Psycholinguistics? Urban Transportation, Land Use, and the Environment? Non-linear Programming? Cognitive & Behavioral Genetics? String Theory for Undergraduates? They are in Kenya.
It's about Time this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!
Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
A professor of vision science at MIT understands that life isn't just black and white, even though we often see it that way. This amazing illusion proves it, and these slick, fast-loading, Flash demonstrations of lightness perception show how it's done. (My favorite is the "Koffka Ring".) White paper here, for deeper background.
M.I.T. Physicist Says Pentagon Is Trying To Silence Him. (NYTimes, registration required) So, it appears that the Pentagon commissions a panel to "review" ("refute"?) a contrary assessment of antimissile technology, but when an unintended byproduct of that review is more criticism of said technology, they pull this little snow job? I guess we've heard this song before, but it's still laughable. Interesting comment from the Brass: "just because it is made public doesn't mean it's declassified." I guess he must mean "authorized", because for my money, that's exactly what it means.
look ma no pocket protector! -- and no clothes either. i trolled around the site this article refers to for a while and clearly the weirdest thing is that the whole project is essentially a resume. a riot.