Taxonomy term


Voices: Austerity axes geological survey in Greece

We have all heard about the austerity measures being taken in Greece regarding its economy. This economic situation is about to affect many of us outside of Greece, however: One aspect of the austerity measures is the immediate closure of the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME). This is a travesty. I am hopeful that by raising awareness outside of Greece, we might be able to save this great body.

17 Jul 2011

Voices: Nuclear plants and natural disasters: Fukushima's fallout

Before it happened, it was hard to imagine that a combined megaquake and tsunami in Japan could cascade to a nuclear disaster. Yet that’s exactly what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi (Number 1) nuclear power plant, 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, last month. This incident has put Japan’s nuclear policy in the spotlight, but its implications go far beyond a single country.

31 May 2011

Gauging nuclear disasters

A nuclear accident is defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as an incident in which people died or property damage topped $50,000. In 1990, IAEA introduced the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) to rate and rank nuclear accidents. INES is a logarithmic scale that consists of seven levels: 0 (Deviation, no safety significance), 1 (Anomaly), 2 (Incident), 3 (Serious incident), 4 (Accident with local consequences), 5 (Accident with wider consequences), 6 (Serious accident) and 7 (Major accident).

31 May 2011

Voices: The confounding economics of natural disasters

In the hours (not days) after the enormous earthquake hit Japan on March 11, before it was even known that the Fukushima power plant had been badly disabled and well before the scope of the mortality and damage had been assessed, the Japanese yen rapidly appreciated in value. The G7 nations moved to quickly stabilize the yen — not to prevent it from falling, but to prevent it from further appreciating.

28 Apr 2011

Science and the social media

How blogs, Twitter and other social media tools are changing conversations about scientific research

28 Apr 2011

Voices: What happened at Fukushima?

The Fukushima Daiichi power plant located in the port town of Okuma in the Fukushima Prefecture, northeast Japan, has six boiling-water-type nuclear reactors supplied by General Electric (units 1, 2 and 3), Toshiba (units 3 and 5) and Hitachi (unit 4) for

06 Apr 2011

Voices: What does "The Nation's Report Card" tell us about science education?

In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in January, he emphasized the need for more scientists, mathematicians and engineers in the U.S. workforce. But the latest national assessment of science education in the U.S. appears to offer little hope for our next generation of scientists. Still, the results provide some insight on the state of science education in this country — information that we can use to improve our schools.

30 Mar 2011

Voices: Wildfires and debris flows: Federal mud

“Los Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse, and, just as the reliably long and bitter winters of New England determine the way life is lived there, so the violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability. The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.”

– Joan Didion, California author

01 Mar 2011

Voices: Humans at high temperatures

Reconsidering the economic implications of climate change

How much will it cost to implement plans to mitigate climate change? And if we don’t implement changes, what will the cost of climate change be?

31 Jan 2011

Voices: Does all scientific work deserve public attention?

Last September, I read a thoughtful post about science blogging and communication on The Guardian’s science blog by David Dobbs. Many scientists seem to think that their work is done once they’ve published a paper, Dobbs said. He argued that scientists have grown over-reliant on the scientific paper to get the word out about their findings and instead — or really, in addition — they need to communicate the importance of their work to an audience larger than the readership of peer-reviewed papers.

14 Jan 2011