Author Archives: Justin

How I learned to stop worrying and love my bacteria (Part 1: The good)

In our post on the origins of life in your refrigerator, we strayed into the area of friendly bacteria. Since this is the time of year when everyone seems to be sick, it seems like a good time to cover … Continue reading

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The National Science Foundation releases a rather extensive analysis of science and technology in the US every two years. This is a nonpartisan report that the National Science Board (NSB) uses to advise the government (both the president and Congress). … Continue reading

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Vaccines: Beyond Hype and Hyperbole

With the ongoing debate raging between science and the right of parents to make medical decisions for their children, I have thought long and hard about how to approach this issue. Several people have asked me to write about it, … Continue reading

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Today we have a question posed by an 8th grade science class. Water goes from a liquid to a gas at its boiling point, so why does water turn into a gas even at room temperature? To understand what’s going … Continue reading

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Faith in science is a topic we covered here last month, but a new HuffPost/YouGov poll provides some numbers on this problem. 78% of people assume that scientific results are often or sometimes influenced by political ideology. 82% of people … Continue reading

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What is gently buzzing, buzzing at my freezer door?

One of my favorite science questions came in a phone call that went something like this: “The power went out and the freezer thawed. When we opened it up, the freezer had flies in it. How did they get in … Continue reading

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Peer Review and Scientific Standards

Credibility in science is dependent on a process of peer review. Scientific studies and their conclusions must be written, submitted to a journal, reviewed by peers, and deemed valid and worthy of sharing with the community. There is a lot … Continue reading

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Keeping Faith in Science

Science requires some level of faith. Coming from a scientist, this position of the faith of science often takes people by surprise, particularly when they have accepted science as an unwavering truth. After some explaining, the intricacies of this position … Continue reading

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Citizenship in Science

A scientist, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “a person learned in science and especially natural science [or] a scientific investigator.” While the phrase “a person learned in science” could refer to anyone with a science education, I prefer to think … Continue reading

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