Taxonomy term

science and society

When the dust settles: Investigating lingering health questions 10 years after 9/11

For the past 10 years, geoscientists have been helping to characterize the dust that blanketed lower Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, hoping to determine if and how that dust may be causing long-term health problems.

12 Aug 2011

TV: Discovery Channel grows more curious

Discovery Channel’s new science series "Curiosity" featuring celebrity hosts asking big questions premiered with a bang this week, with an episode starring Stephen Hawking that wondered whether God created the universe.

12 Aug 2011

Geologic Column: Snow globes, light shows and t-shirts

It seemed like a simple question. “What do you think the most commercialized geologic site is?”

My curiosity had been piqued by a trip through Wisconsin Dells, a glacially carved river valley that has the world’s largest concentration of water parks (complete with the requisite fudge shops, tchotchke shops and miniature golf courses). Before that trip, my top nominee would have been Natural Bridge in Virginia, which has featured the seasonal sound-and-light show, “Drama of Creation,” since 1927. Today, the site can be rented for a conference or a wedding.

28 Jul 2011

Voices: A growing need for geoscience diplomacy

“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world … we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world we seek.”

With this speech in June 2009 at Cairo University in Egypt, President Barack Obama outlined a new program to promote U.S. cooperation in science and technology initiatives with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. Obama appointed six science ambassadors to follow up on these cooperation initiatives.

28 Jul 2011

Travels in Geology: Twin coral reefs separated in time in Western Australia

Take advantage of the chance to explore similar-looking reefs in Western Australia: one from the Devonian and one forming now off the coast.

22 Jul 2011

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

Great Lakes geologic sunken treasure

Just beneath the surface of Lake Huron lie several sinkholes full of mysterious microorganisms that may hold clues to early life on Earth and to new medicinal drugs.

15 Jul 2011

Blogging on EARTH: Webb Space Telescope ensnared in political drama

Perhaps you have heard of the psychological principle of entrapment. In college, a friend of mine once described it to me while we stood in a seemingly endless line in one of the dining halls. As I recall, the essence of it is that the more money, time or effort you invest in some venture waiting for a return — a sandwich in my case — the harder it is to simply let it go or give up hope, regardless of how unfavorable the potential cost-benefit ratio is.

13 Jul 2011

Is there really a minerals crisis?

Reports suggest that the world is running out of crucial supplies of minerals, from copper and lead to the rare earths. But shortages have more to do with sociological and political issues than actual geology.

08 Jul 2011

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