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Geologic Column: Blockbuster solutions

Science makes leaps forward when practitioners take unconventional approaches to problem-solving, such as that in the movie “The Imitation Game.” Could such unconventional steps help us solve some of today’s biggest problems?

14 Mar 2016

Comment: How 'Frankenstein' prevents us from tackling climate change

During the unusually dark and stormy summer months of 1816 following the eruption of Mount Tambora, Mary Shelley wrote “Frankenstein.” The story has continued to shape the public’s distrust of scientists and the scientific method.

09 Mar 2016

Comment: Weathering a perfect storm from space

Severe space-weather events have happened in the past, and they’ll happen again in the future. Will we be prepared?
 

 

15 Feb 2016

Geologic Column: A Jurassic romance

What do "Jane Eyre," Bevin Boys and icthyosaur-hunting paleontologists have in common? Reader, I’ll tell you.

12 Feb 2016

Geologic Column: Decades later, Mr. Keene's earth science class sticks with me

The author's 1959 earth science class changed her life, despite not starting out as well as she would have hoped. 
13 Jan 2016

Geologic Column: The beginning of "time" as we know it

We have many methods for measuring things — volumes, lengths, areas, for example — but we have only one system to measure time. It's based on three astronomical cycles: a day is based on one rotation on our axis; a month is based on one orbit of the moon around Earth; and the year is based on one orbit of Earth around the sun. Our calendar has changed some over the millennia but has remained remarkably constant. 
13 Dec 2015

Comment: GSW: A celebrated society celebrates its 1,500th meeting

The October 2015 meeting of the Geological Society of Washington was the society’s 1500th. It’s worth a look back at the last 123 years.

10 Dec 2015

Comment: Pipe Dreams: What have we learned from the Volkswagen Clean-Diesel scandal?

It came to light this fall that Volkswagen had emplaced so-called defeat devices in millions of clean-diesel cars, thus allowing the cars to pass emissions tests but still drive the way consumers wanted. Many questions remain, but the scandal has already provided important lessons about consumer behavior, markets and the temptation to cheat in this new era of environmental anxiety.

18 Nov 2015

Geologic Column: Thanksgiving's unsung hero

Thanksgiving as we know it in America today has only been celebrated since President Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863, thanks to the entreaties of Sarah Josepha Hale, an influential writer and editor.

13 Nov 2015

Comment: Remarkable geology sets new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument apart

In the Coast Ranges west of Sacramento, Calif., lies a wilderness of steep-sided canyons, mountainous terrain, rich biological diversity, and cultural and historical significance. But it’s the geology of this region that makes it worthy of designation as a national monument.

12 Nov 2015

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