Four years ago I went to the Gulf of St. Lawrence to write the story of a place, a giant body of water in which the history of North America has steeped. It is a place of wild beauty, indigenous heritage and exploitation. I wrote about the Gulf in general, but particularly about the history of its harvest, an exhaustible bounty of cod, seals, whales, lobsters and now, it appears, oil. I wrote about what I already knew, what I read, and what I learned when I traveled [...]
Lewis Thomas was a doctor who wrote articles so beautiful everyone forgot he was anything but a writer. Joyce Carol Oates used Thomas’s writing in her classes as general examples of the craft. Thomas was the kind of writer who left paragraphs that, on their own, might, with any luck, last centuries. They have already lasted decades. Here, for example, is one of which I am fond…
A gallery in New York exhibited a collection of 2 million live army ants, on loan from Central America, in a one-colony [...]
It has been a fun set of weeks in the lab. Two weeks ago I discovered ants from our lab had made their way to the space station. Last week, we started to go through insect samples from chimpanzee nests (They are amazing! More on this soon.). Then this week, I tasted our beer.
The beer in question – one that we helped make – is delicious. It is also the result of a kind of symphony of science, a collaboration with Anne Madden (who will join us [...]
Dr. Eleanor and friends have a fun new blog called Buzz Hoot Roar. In each post, they explain a scientific concept that interests or excites them (for example, the best thing about baby ants) in 300 words or less, and then work with graphic artists to illustrate it in a snazzy, jazzy way. We’re SUPER FANS and think you should be too – Below, Dr. Eleanor explains why she’s melding science and art together in this really cool and innovative way.
Ever since the folks in the [...]
Since we’re on the cusp of a three-day holiday weekend, we figured you might be searching for something fun to do with all your extra time. Why not use some of it to check out a few science stories that caught our attention this week?
- Deep within the series of tubes: In this NY Times article Peter Andrey Smith takes us into the field with biologist Norm Pace and team to investigate the microbes living in our municipal water [...]
We’re getting REALLY excited about the upcoming meeting on the Evolution of the Indoor Biome. Thirty scholars representing many disciplines – from art and anthropology to epidemiology, and entomology — will convene June 10-13 in Durham, NC, at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. Their charge: To develop concepts and a suite of preliminary hypotheses to frame our understanding of the evolution of the species we spend the most time alongside in the domestic environment (whether those species be microbes or fungi, arthropods, vertebrates or plants).
Over the last [...]
It’s been quite awhile since we shared links on a related theme with y’all and since we’re in the midst of some self-induced cicada-mania, we thought we’d share a bunch of great reads that recently caught our eyes (and ears) related to the emergence of the Brood II periodical cicadas – Enjoy!
- When Cicadas Fall in Love: Alan Burdick of the New Yorker writes about the dynamic cicada research duo, John Cooley and David Marshall, and their quest to understand the courtship of periodical cicadas. Says Cooley, “Almost any [...]