Monthly Archives: June 2012

UNH climate researcher wins medal for best student paper

University of New Hampshire Ph.D. candidate Elizabeth Burakowski was awarded the 2012 Wiesnet Medal for Best Student Paper at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Snow Conference (ESC) held earlier this month in Claryville, N.Y. Continue reading…

Posted in Breaking News, Climate, Environment, Measurement | Leave a comment

Citizen Science: Thousands Tested Their “Gut” Sense for Numbers


A first-of-its kind study using the World Wide Web to collect data from more than 10,000 study subjects ages 11 to 85 found that humans’ inborn “number sense” improves during school years, declines during old age, and remains linked throughout the entire lifespan to academic mathematics achievement. Continue reading…

Posted in Education, Mathematics, Psychology | Leave a comment

Kilowatt-Hours: A Unit of Energy Explained, Part 2


Last week, we talked mostly on theory and discussed a practical example. This thrilling conclusion focuses on batteries and another practical example. Continue reading…

Posted in Electricity, Energy, Instrumentation, Measurement, Physics | Leave a comment

A Special Moonwatch Feature by One who was There

Moonwatch team member Anna Hillier with her book The History of Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston during the 2006 annual meeting of the Society for Amateur Scientists in Providence, Rhode Island. Photograph by Forrest M. Mims III.

After Sputnik was launched on October 4, 1957, we were notified to report. Reporters came to interview us, take photographs and mostly wait for the skies to clear. Radio receivers picked up the beep . . . beep. . .beep sound transmitted by Sputnik, but it eluded visual observations. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, History of Science, Instrumentation, Measurement, Space | Leave a comment

Two Citizen Scientists Win First Bay Area Open Science Challenge

Assay Depot and BioCurious awarded Bay Area-based scientists Ryan Bethencourt and Derek Jacoby $5,000 to fund research using memberships to BioCurious and access to Assay Depot’s Research Exchange. Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Breaking News | Leave a comment

Crowdsourcing Mathematics

Sir Andrew Wiles,  Image copyright C. J. Mozzochi, Princeton N.J,  Freely reused.

Mathematicians love problem solving and there is nothing like a good problem to bring them out to toss ideas around. This year, as he has for the last three years, Terence Tao is hosting a mini-polymath. Continue reading…

Posted in Community, Mathematics, Projects | Leave a comment

“Lonesome George” Passes On, Age 100+

Lonesome George. Agence France-Presse photo by Rodrigo Buendia.

Lonesome George has died, leaving the world one sub-species poorer. Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Breaking News, Environment | 1 Comment

The Science of Citizen Scientists

Citizen scientist volunteers assist in the installation of groundwater monitoring wells. EDIS Photo.

Recently I became aware of an interesting fact sheet posted on the web by the University of Florida IFAS Extension. It concerns citizen science both as a tool for doing science and for teaching science to those who participate. Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Community, Education, Measurement, Observation, Science Education | Leave a comment

Credit to the Data


High-quality and publicly accessible datasets should be given as much credit as standard publications in the research excellence framework, Britain’s Royal Society has argued. Continue reading…

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Citizen Science Musings: The Downside of Intuition

Roger Bacon (c. 1214–1294). Image: Wikipedia media commons.

One of the things about the history of science that has always puzzled me is the development of the scientific method. The rise of something close to modern science starts with Aristotle, who broke with his teacher Plato and argued that the best way to understand the world was not to sit and speculate about it, but to go out and actually observe what was going on. Continue reading…

Posted in Experimentation, History of Science, Measurement, Observation, Psychology | 4 Comments