No, not the Mars rover. Though the Curiosity rover is a brilliant example of the result of the pure curiosity that drives so many. Curiosity, that drive to understand the unknown and unseen. From wind, rain, and thunder to what holds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus of an atom. To question has always been role of the scientist, one of which has always been taken up willingly. However the drive to question the world around us is more than just a scientific cause. Curiosity is a core part of human nature, one we can not afford to let fall into neglect.
Posted in Academia, Biology, Chemistry, Geekism, Grad School, Physics, Science, Space, The Future, The Past
Tagged Curiosity, Inspiration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory, Moon, NASA, Richard Feynman, Science
Science has always been ruled by facts, the facts and evidence of any question or hypothesis has always been held above all else. This has always been the great equalizer in science; where a Nobel Laureate can be proven wrong by an undergraduate researcher with experimental data. However this appears to be changing for some parts of science, as politics grabs hold and tries to change what it will. In recent years several scientific topics have become the subject of political scrutiny; not because there were errors in experimentation or disproved results. Because some have decided that they dislike the results, and that in turn should make the science wrong. Where does this leave the actual science?
Posted in Academia, Biology, Chemistry, Grad School, Physics, Science, The Future
Tagged Climate Change, environment, Global warming, Politics, Science, United States
The whole graduate school thing can be very tough some times, as a few of us know. It is in those times that I find myself wondering whether my friends that chose to be done with school at the bachelors level had the right of it. I think this is a doubt that a lot of people have from time to time through out their graduate school career. More than that I think it is important that we all know that these thoughts pass, things are always better in the morning.
Posted in Academia, Biology, Chemistry, Grad School, Physics, Ramble, Rant, Science
Tagged Biology, Chemistry, Graduate School, Physics, Stress
Buckyballs or C60 or Buckminsterfullerene has become an very hot topic in the chemistry and material science worlds in the past 20 years or so. Buckballs are being used in physics, Supramolecular chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and engineering. And for all of this we do not need to thank the big ten research schools, but a regular school and the good science and scientists that were working there when it happened. The Buckyball discovery shows everyone that good science can happen anywhere.
Posted in Academia, Chemistry, Grad School, Physics, Science, The Past
Tagged Buckminsterfullerene, Buckyball, Chemistry, Harry Kroto, Nobel Prize, Physics, Rice University, Science, Supramolecular chemistry, University of Sussex, Vega Science Trust
July 20th of this year will mark the 44th anniversary of of the first time that man landed and walked on the surface of the moon. Three years and a few months after that remarkable day, Apollo 17 left the lunar surface to begin its trip back to earth. It has been nearly 41 years since man has walked on the moon. It is remarkable to me that it has been over 40 years since we last traveled to the moon. How could we achieve such greatness to let it fall out of practice How can it be that going to the moon became something…. routine?
Posted in Science, Space, The Future, The Past
Tagged Apollo 11, Apollo program, International Space Station, Lunar Mission, Moon, Moon Base, NASA, Project Gemini, Saturn V, Skylab, Space
A few days ago, the 12th of February, was the 204th birthday of Charles Darwin. As the father of evolution Darwin was and still is one of the most controversial scientists in history. While Darwin’s story doesn’t have the dramatic flair of Galileo Galilei, or the comedic charm of Richard Feynman, he does have the honor of being among the most divisive figures in all of science.
Posted in Academia, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Science, The Future, The Past
Tagged Academia, Biology, Charles Darwin, Chemistry, Curiosity, Darwin, Exploration, HMS Beagle, Natural Selection, On the Origin of Species, Science
A longstanding pet peeve of mine is the misuse of the word chemicals. A chemical is not a very specific noun. Its definition does not imply toxicity and the word does not have a moral weight. Chemicals are not bad or dangerous or man-made necessarily. A chemical is simply a type of matter that is consistent throughout, like water.
Traditions are a part of every culture, from holidays to formalities to how guests are treated. And of course in academia there are traditions that are unique to countries and continents. Since I spent several months contemplating going back to graduate school in another part of the world, There are a few of these academic traditions that I have stumbled across that I think are not just really interesting, but make me want to go there for my degree despite being in a program already.
Posted in Academia, Awkward, Biology, Chemistry, Fun, Funny?, Geekism, Grad School, Physics, Ramble, Rant, Science
Tagged Australia, Finland, Graduate School, Graduation, New Zealand, Nordic countries, Stockholm, Sweden, United States
Plenty of elements are named after geographical locations. Erbium, Terbium, Ytterbium, and Yttrium were all named after Ytterby, Sweden where minerals containing these elements were found.