As educational opportunities, science fairs let students tackle the scientific method hands on. Classically that process begins with identifying a question, developing a hypothesis to answer it and then devising an experiment to test that hunch. In principle, kids who participate will not only learn about science but may be inspired to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. But the fairs also have problems.
Scientists have linked hundreds of genes to intelligence. One psychologist says it’s time to test school kids. A year ago, no gene had ever been tied to performance on an IQ test. Since then, more than 500 have, thanks to gene studies involving more than 200,000 test takers. Results from an experiment correlating one million people’s DNA with their academic success are due at any time.
Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” - the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data.
As awareness of bias has increased, so too have efforts to address the subtle ways in which women find their work devalued. But in many institutions, women still struggle to get male peers and supervisors to acknowledge the problem.
The appropriations bill gives NASA $20.736 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, which started more than five and a half months ago. That is more than $1.6 billion above the administration’s original request of $19.092 billion. A House appropriations bill offered NASA $19.872 billion and its Senate counterpart $19.529 billion. An overarching two-year budget deal reached earlier this year raised spending caps for both defense and non-defense programs, freeing up additional funding.
Benjamin Firester won the top award at Regeneron STS 2018, the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Benjy won first place for his development of a mathematical model that uses disease data to predict how weather patterns could spread spores of the late blight fungus, which caused the Irish Potato Famine.
The nonprofit group Achieve, which advocates for better standards and assessments, has launched an interesting new initiative that brings together several trends: curricular alignment, digital badges or credentials, and open educational resources. The initiative is meant to respond to the continuing challenge of ensuring that, in the nearly 20 states that have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, the materials used for teaching and learning are aligned to the new expectations.
Most human genomes harbor small fragments of Neanderthal DNA, the legacy of prehistoric hanky-panky between our ancestors and their hominid cousins. For the most part, that inheritance has been detrimental.
Hawking was as famous for his insights on black holes, the existence of God and quantum gravity as he was for his unique way of speaking while living his life in a wheelchair. Operating his trademark computer system with his cheek, Hawking gave the world insights into the unknown and gems of quotations, including, "Life would be tragic if it weren't funny."
Since President Trump’s inauguration, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has built a robust team of over 50 staff members, including a corps of scientists and engineers, policymakers, and academics to advise the President on science and technology (S&T), support the President’s agenda, and ensure that S&T efforts across the Executive Branch are effectively coordinated. [ Full Report ]