Katherine Freese, Douglas Spolyar, and Paolo Gondolo hypothesize that the first stars were powered by dark matter (HT: Wil Oxford): For a long time, scientists have assumed that the very first stars were powered by fusion, in processes similar to what goes on in present day stars. But a new theory is emerging to challenge that view. “The first stars were different in a lot … Continue reading Stars, Then and Now
Wired lists its ten top science stories of 2007. It’s too early, perhaps, to say whether “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything” belongs on the list. Of more practical use might be this explanation for why wires, threads, and just about everything else ends up in knots. Continue reading Top Science Stories of 2007
Virginia Postrel reflects on Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison‘s book, Objectivity. Among the passages she quotes: All epistemology begins in fear–fear that the world is too labyrinthine to be threaded by reason; fear that the senses are too feeble and the intellect too frail; fear that memory fades, even between adjacent steps of a mathematical demonstartion; fear that authority and convention blind; fear that God … Continue reading Objectivity
Physicists are considering a seemingly metaphysical question and seeking physical evidence for answers. (Hat tip: Wil Oxford.) Continue reading Are There Other Worlds? How Could We Know?
Allison Kasic writes of the coming academic tidal wave, a push to force science and engineering programs to have more women faculty members and students: Several panelists, including former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, spoke of the need for massive “institutional transformation.” Chairman Brian Baird (D-WA) asked what sort of “hammer” the government could use to enforce this transformation. A popular answer … Continue reading Women in Science and Engineering