Talk @ Swedish Embassy: The Paradigm Shift in Sci Comm

Next week on Wednesday I will be joined by several stellar panelists for a Science Cafe discussion at the Swedish Embassy aka the House of Sweden. Built last year, the embassy is an architectural marvel sitting on some of the best real estate in the Georgetown waterfront.

You don't want to miss this. I hear that they are expecting an audience topping a 100 and I am sure people will be gathering afterwards to go out for beers in Georgetown. Details below. Notice the RSVP requirement.

For my talk, I will be discussing the paradigm shift in science communication, focusing in on the continued debate over evolution. the recent National Academies report on the topic, the forthcoming Ben Stein advocacy film, and the role of maverick communicators such as Richard Dawkins.

Public Understanding of Science
January 16, 2008

6:30 to 8:30 pm

--Jan Riise, Goteborg Center for Public Learning and Understanding of
--Matthew C. Nisbet, Assistant Professor at American University, the School
of Communication

--Nils Bruzelius, Deputy National Editor/Science at the Washington Post

The cafes are a continuation of the 2007 Linnaeus Tercentenary
celebrations where Swedish and American researchers debate important
science & technology issues.

--you must RSVP for this one in advance because it takes place at an embassy:
Please RSVP by January 14th to

-the street address (as opposed to the mailing address which does not work in the Metro Trip Planner) is 901 30th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Plants have awareness and intelligence, argue scientists

Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.

Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
  • Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
  • Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Keep reading Show less

Vaping changes blood vessels after one use, even without nicotine

E-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but they come with their own risks.

John Keeble
Surprising Science
  • A new study used an MRI machine to examine how vaping e-cigarettes affects users' cardiovascular systems immediately after inhalation.
  • The results showed that vaping causes impaired circulation, stiffer arteries and less oxygen in their blood.
  • The new study adds to a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes – while likely safer than traditional cigarettes – are far from harmless.
Keep reading Show less

Space is dead: A challenge to the standard model of quantum mechanics

Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.

  • Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
  • In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
  • In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.
Keep reading Show less