Sci on the Fly

Concerned about national security? Then fight climate change!

Climate change is most commonly thought of as an environmental and economic issue, but it is also a serious national security threat. The national security Americans currently enjoy is jointly maintained by diplomatic and military efforts, but failing to vigorously combat climate change at the national and international levels will likely lead to increased regional and global conflict, decreased military effectiveness and operational capabilities, and ultimately an America that is more vulnerable.

Change in NIH Funding Policy

In a recent announcement The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that it is moving forward with a policy that will limit the extent of grant support to a single lab by instigating a plan that hopefully will result in more equitable distribution of limited funds. This decision represents the conclusions arrived after years of debate at NIH as to how to distribute their limited funds in a way that could benefit more researchers. 

PODCAST | From Food Waste and Wasted Food to Resource Recovery

Americans waste 40% of their food. How did we become so wasteful and what can we do about it? Dr. Ariela Zycherman is joined by Dr. Irina Feygina of Climate Central, Jason Turgeon of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Maria Rose Belding and Grant Nelson from the MEANS database for a discussion about what parts of food we waste, why we waste, and what we can do to reduce waste across a variety of social, natural and built systems.

PODCAST | Scientists are People Too, Episode 1

This is the first episode in a new series called “Scientists are People Too.” In each episode, we will ask scientists about their work and their daily lives. This episode asks scientists “What is the biggest mistake you have made in science or the most expensive piece of equipment you have broken?”


Host: Danielle Friend, Ph.D. Neuroscience 2016-2017 Executive Branch Fellow at the National Institutes of Health

The President Should Heed the Business Community on Climate Change

This post was written with the assistance of Lauren Smith-Ramesh (National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis) and Susan Kalisz (University of Tennessee)

President Trump is a businessman. His goals have included minimizing risk where possible and maximizing profits for himself and his associates. Mr. Trump’s success has been at least partly determined by his ability to take advantage of opportunities and anticipate problems better than his competitors.

Feedback: Turning on Directions

This is the first post in a mini-series on Sci on the Fly that will explore questions about feedback. This post asks: How can real-time feedback fail us and what makes it potent?

The hit television show, The Office, has a laughable scene that reveals a potential limitation of real-time feedback. In it, Michael is driving Dwight across the state to drum up business. He comes to an intersection, and his Global Positioning System (GPS) unit instructs him in real-time to make a right turn. Michael then proceeds, and the following dialogue ensues:


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