In a guest piece at Scientific American, David Ropeik argues that an Italian court's decision to charge scientists and a government official with manslaughter isn't about quake prediction per se, but a failure to communicate science effectively. Snip:
But, contrary to the majority of the news coverage this decision is getting and the gnashing of teeth in the scientific community, the trial was not about science, not about seismology, not about the ability or inability of scientists to predict earthquakes. These convictions were about poor risk communication, and more broadly, about the responsibility scientists have as citizens to share their expertise in order to help people make informed and healthy choices.
An editorial from Nature, a publication that covered the case extensively in 2011, echoes this sentiment. "It is important to note that the seven were not on trial for failing to predict the earthquake," but...
The verdict is perverse and the sentence ludicrous. Already some scientists have responded with warnings about the chilling effect on their ability to serve in public risk assessments.
Writing for the New York Times, Heather Murphy has a fascinating story about the unexpected results of a bone marrow transplant. When a patient receives a bone marrow transplant, the patient’s own cells are destroyed and replaced with cells from a donor. Thereafter, the patient is a “chimera,” with two sets of DNA. It’s believed […]
I’m not an engineer, but I can’t stop watching this hypnotic and oddly satisfying video of tying rebar.
The Australian Acoustic Observatory project, described by its creators as a kind of “Google Street View of sound,” is a new acoustic sensor network of hundreds of microphones and digital audio recorders distributed across multiple remote ecosystems on the continent. The solar-powered system will record animal and natural sounds continuously for 5 years. According to […]
The good news: Software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Camtasia and Final Cut Pro has opened up a ton of possibilities for desktop videographers. On the other hand, their use is so widespread that you have to be an expert in them before you can even think about a career in the field. That’s a requirement […]
There are a lot of high-tech drones and RC planes flooding the market lately, and the innovations are coming so fast on each new iteration, most of them forget one crucial thing: Flying these is supposed to be fun. Here’s an alternative that keeps that ethic firmly in mind: The Moskito Smartphone-Controlled Plane. This thing […]
There are few intellectual exercises better than a good game of chess against a capable opponent, which is why a lot of old hands at the gameplay it online. But there’s still nothing like the tactile thrill of moving a knight into checkmate. (Or sweeping the pieces off dramatically when you lose.) That’s why we’re […]