Sci on the Fly

Embrace a Career Sidestep: Write a novel

Ever thought about taking a career sidestep to write a novel? Seriously. Issac Asimov was a biochemistry professor before he started to write science fiction (I, Robot; Fantastic Voyage; and 500 more novels). The astronomer Carl Sagan wrote Contact. Michael Crichton was a physician before he became a best-selling author (Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain, among others). Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a mathematician (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).

Can you spare the time?

For centuries, we’ve survived with wristwatches that kept time accurate to within a few minutes per year. Yet early in 2016, a timing signal broadcast an error of only 13 microseconds, which in turn disrupted telecommunications and other networked computers around the globe. How could such a small error, an amount of time equivalent to 1/25,000 of an eye blink, cause such problems?

Don’t Judge a Plant by its Seed: GMOs and Patent Laws

This post accompanies the Sci on the Fly podcast “Some love them, some hate them, some don’t care: GMOs.” That podcast mentions (at 8:50) three Supreme Court and federal court cases significantly impacting the research and development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs -- organisms whose genetic material has been modified through genetic engineering).

The Growing Role of Private Investment in Clean Energy

The 2016 election has left many environmentalists unsure about the future. President-elect Trump has tapped Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, and Texas governor Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy.  Barring congressional approval, these men will have a profound impact on the future of energy and the environment in America, and their records suggest that these men will lead a strong divergence from the policies of the Obama administration. 

PODCAST | Some love them, some hate them, some don't care: GMOs

Sesquile Ramon (2015-17 Executive Branch Fellow) dives into a discussion of ghenetically modified organisms (GMOs) and why some people love them, some don’t trust them, and some don’t care as long as they taste good. Three more fellows -- Daniel Hicks, Ariela Zycherman, and Marit Wilkerson -- discuss where we get policies regulating consumption of genetically engineered food, explore their legislative history, their perceived risk, and their potential use as a tool to combat the complex challenges of climate change.


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