"We all feel a profound connection with the natural world. E O Wilson called this sensation biophilia: ‘the urge to affiliate with other forms of life’. That sense of connection brings great emotional satisfaction. It can decrease levels of anger, anxiety and pain. It has undoubtedly helped our species to survive, since we are fundamentally dependent on our surrounding environment and ecosystem. But lately biophilia has spawned an extreme variant: chemophobia, a reflexive rejection of modern synthetic chemicals."
It has become conventional wisdom among chemists that “chemophobia” is the root of many people’s trepidation about chemicals. Framing the issue as an irrational fear may not be the best way to improve chemicals’ public image, however.[more inside]
Why Poor Places Are More Diverse : a lesson from ecosystem ecology.
1,825 days after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Perrin Ireland (@experrinment) and the Natural Resources Defense Council ask: Where'd the oil go?
The Nautilus and her Corps of Exploration are mapping and exploring ocean features from the Gulf Coast up to British Columbia. Yesterday, they found a whale. You can watch live to see what they find next!
We all know what happens if you search "botfly" on YouTube. This, however, is a much more rounded and interesting video about the botfly life cycle from Piotr Naskrecki, an entomologist who, having been infected serendipitously, decided to allow the parasite to complete the stage he was hosting, in the interests of scientific filmmaking. [more inside]
With growing fascination for the large land vertebratomorphs that are so startlingly diverse on Tatooine, I secured Imperial funding for an expedition to Tatooine, to survey the exotic megafauna and search for fossils of Tyrannodraconis that might further illuminate their evolution. My ensuing report summarizes my trilogy of investigations and discoveries from this “holiday in the suns." [more inside]
Let's Talk About Science is a blog devoted to discussing the world of science and technology communication with clear, beginner-friendly language, written and compiled by nanoscientist/physicist Jessamyn Fairfield and science educator ErinDubitably. [more inside]
The Origins Project at ASU presents the final night in the Origins Stories weekend, focusing on the science of storytelling and the storytelling of science.The Storytelling of Science. Part 2. [more inside]
Things I Learned as a Field Biologist #65: "Collecting the fecal matter of your study subject is an art form, and not nearly as simple as one might think. In a perfect world, you would look through your binoculars into the canopy and see the prized excrement emerge freshly from the posterior of the exact animal you’re hoping to sample. This ample and cohesive bolus will fall magically, directly, to the ground at your feet, making for easy and immediate retrieval…"
Following panic about a now-discredited study on the MMR vaccine, measles cases in the UK are on the rise. Radio host Jeni Barnett hosted a phone-in about it (transcript), defending parents' rights to choose not to vaccinate their children. Bad Science blogger Ben Goldacre had a thing or two to say about Barnett's argument. When the broadcaster of the radio show threatened legal action, bloggers of bad science responded...