What large-scale geosciences project would get your attention?

Last night on Twitter, some of us geology-types (including Brian Romans, Yorrike, Volcanojw, Ron Schott, Cian Dawson) had a discussion about "big picture" geology projects. We're talking about the equivalent of the Large Hadron Collider or Hubble Space Telescope, but in the realm of geology. Now, there have been a few of these types of projects that could capture the imagination of the public - so examples of projects or proposed projects that might fit the bill:


  • Project Mohole: Originally launched in the 1950s, it was to drill into the mantle, a topic that comes up regularly.
  • Earthscope: This ongoing project is more-or-less disassembling the structure of North America. It consists of a moving system of seismic stations (amongst other experiments) to map the interior of the continent - from coast to coast.
  • Iceland Deep Drilling Program: Let's drilling a 4-5 km hole into Iceland, one of the more tectonically and magmatically active areas on the planet.
  • Project Neptune: It doesn't exist (yet), but would wire most of the Juan de Fuca plate, from the spreading ridge in the Pacific Ocean to the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.
  • This is just a taste of what some "big picture" geology might be - so my question to all of you is this: What would be the sort of big geosciences project or instrument that might captivate the world like LHC or Hubble? Is it possible for geosciences to get the public's attention like physics or astronomy have done - and especially, get the funding to build the "big project". Leave a comment below and let me know what you think - and don't be afraid to push the limits.

    3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

    What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

    Northwell Health
    Sponsored by Northwell Health
    • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
    • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
    • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
    Keep reading Show less

    Beyond Meat announces plan to sell ‘ground beef’ in stores. Shares skyrocket.

    Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.

    Culture & Religion
    • Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
    • Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
    • Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
    Keep reading Show less

    Thumbs up? Map shows Europe’s hitchhiking landscape

    Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.

    Image: Abel Suyok
    Strange Maps
    • A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
    • However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
    • In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
    Keep reading Show less

    Can you guess which state has the most psychopaths?

    A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

    Surprising Science
    • The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
    • The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
    • The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
    Keep reading Show less