Articles

  • June 29, 2012

    We need your help! We are looking for long-form articles about what you think is the most the cutting edge research. The AAAS MemberCentral Cutting Edge series covers emerging trends in science. So its your turn to tell us what those emerging trends are! »

  • March 16, 2012

    Richard Potts, Director, Human Origins Program, National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian Institution:  Now, we all shift gears quite a bit to a field that is both curious and of some interest to a wide range of people; ourselves. And how our species and our closest related species, who are once on the planet but now extinct, came to be. And so this is the field of human origins or paleoanthropology.   »

  • March 16, 2012

    Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google:  What I wanted to do is just touch on what’s happening in computer science, little bits and pieces to give you a sense for how exciting it can be in this time. Even though computers have around for a while, the Association for Computer Machinery started in 1947. Some of the earliest computers were available in 1938 by Conrad Zuse, and, of course, Babbage was building calculating engines as far back as the middle of the 19th century. But we are now reaching a point where computing has exceeded the capacity and capability of anything that could have been imagined, even 40 years ago. What I want to give you a sense for is what is possible as a consequence of the scale at which we can do computing today. We’re achieving certain things that simply couldn’t be done before because we didn’t have enough capacity to compute. We didn’t have enough memory to hold information. We didn’t have the ability to manipulate it literally in real time. So I’m going to start out by showing you a little video from CBS. This is a person who was experiencing the Google self-driving automobile, and it can only accomplish this task because it’s able to ingest huge amounts of information.  »

  • March 16, 2012

    Lene Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics, Harvard University: Well, thank you very much. So, well, as you heard a little bit of what I’m going to talk about is definitely changing gears here. Some of you might know a very exciting area in physics in the recent years has been the studies and uses of ultra-cold atoms. These days we can cool atoms down to micro Kelvin and nanoKelvin, that’s a few millions to a few billions of a degree above absolute zero, so that’s pretty freezing cold. And we typically use lasers to do that job that’s sort of new techniques that are being developed. And when matter gets that cold, if you can sort of collect the bunch of particles or atoms, cool them down, they tend to form extremely strange states of matter.  »

  • March 16, 2012

    Alan P. Boss, Ph.D., Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington: What I want to tell you about tonight is not everything that is happen in astronomy and astrophysics because it would just be too much and I would be more like a little snack platter or various tidbits. Instead, I want to give you a whole entree, something really meaty and juicy. and focus just on one of the most important topics in contemporary astronomy, which is the search for habitable worlds. And I think one has to really realize that this is a very new subject. It all began only back in 1996. You can’t quite see it, because its crop, but this a Time Magazine cover of 1996. that was the first time when we have the first reproducible evidence for planets outside the solar system.  15 years is a very short period of time in history of astronomy. Of course, it was just 400 a years ago that Galileo used the first telescope to find the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. So, 15 years is just a blink in the eye although if you look at that political banner upper left, it looks like was a quite long time ago, indeed possibly in another galaxy all together.  »

  • March 16, 2012

    James Tour, Ph.D., T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University:  This is a busy slide, but it’s not so busy if you think of it in the terms that this is the only slide.

    [Audience Chuckle] »

  • March 16, 2012

    Randi Rotjan, Associate Research Scientist at the New England Aquarium: Thank you so much. It is really an honor to be here to talk about coral reef ecosystems, which are undoubtedly my favorite place to be anywhere on the planet, partly because of their spectacular beauty, which you can see, and also because of their spectacular diversity. It's well known that coral reefs are thought to harbor at least one–third of all of the species found in the oceans, although I’m sure that's arguable. but actually our hostess of the evening has just published a paper showing that even that diversity is underestimated.  So the stories that these ecosystems have to tell us are numerous.  These ecosystems are also incredibly important.  They, of course, provide a food source for much of the world. They offer protection for shorelines.  They generate economic revenues in terms of tourism and other sort of fishing pursuits and many other reasons. But these diverse and important and beautiful ecosystems are really [important], as I said. »

  • March 16, 2012

    Sylvia Earle, ocean pioneer: We have just had 3 great – 4 great ambassadors for the ocean to explain just how special the ocean is. Just how special the planet is. Just how incredible it is for us to be alive at all.   »

  • March 16, 2012

    David Gallo, Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:  I earned a PhD somehow, but I was born with ADD. That’s where the special projects comes from, it was the best job title for me at Woods Hole. It’s a privilege and it’s an honor for me to be here today.  »

  • March 14, 2012

    Robert Hueter, Senior Scientist & Director of the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory:  Thank you all for coming. I am proud to say that not only am I an AAAS member but also I am an alum of the AAAS Mass Media Science Fellows Program. In 1981, I dare say, when the program was young; I was 12 years old of course [laughter]. And that program has been absolutely instrumental in affecting and influencing my ability to communicate with the public, which has been quite important with my research subject, sharks.  »