A few weeks ago, following a post on Steve Hsu’s blog, I read an interesting essay by Steven Pinker on science and the humanities: “Science Is Not Your Enemy An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians.” It seems these days there’s a deluge of text on the state of the humanities, … Continue reading On how impractical cuisine can save the humanities
When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, aside from doing radio astronomy, I worked in Paul McEuen’s lab examining electronic transport in nanostructures, working especially with a great postdoc named David Cobden. Looking through the contents of last week’s Nature, it was a fun surprise to see pieces by both of these people: one paper, … Continue reading Books + Berkeley
Being on the academic, rather than the athletic, side of the University of Oregon, I’m not gifted with my own private hydrotherapy pool, hand-woven Nepali rugs in my office, or the use of a barbershop with imported Milanese utensils — all appallingly featured in the University’s new football center that has attracted lots of much-deserved … Continue reading It wasn’t a rock / It was a rock lobster!
UPDATE: The really amazing media coverage of this is: http://www.theonion.com/articles/scientists-create-microscopic-mona-lisa,33423/ The Onion! I’m very impressed. My friend Jennifer Curtis at Georgia Tech has a paper out featuring a clever nanolithography technique, in which heating an atomic force microscope tip generates a temperature gradient that guides chemical reactions at a surface. Controlling the position and temperature … Continue reading The Mini Lisa
One of the motivations for improving STEM education that I’ve briefly noted before (e.g. here and here) is the expectation of lots of future jobs requiring STEM skills. This is important, though I think it’s less important than conveying an appreciation of nature that a scientific perspective brings, and imparting skills that allow thinking “scientifically” … Continue reading “China needs workers…”
Since I’m a physicist who works on biological systems and cares about education, what could be better than a special issue of CBE Life Sciences Education on “Educational Initiatives and Research at the Intersection of Physics and Biology?” (OK, lots of things — I’m not that boring a person — but humor me.) I’ve read … Continue reading Physics, Biology, and STEM education