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Education — Page 4

Science outreach is becoming hip

The world of academia used to be a place where professors and students stayed shuttered away in their research labs and offices, doing their research for the benefit of one another, with no desire to engage in the public eye. Cynics may chuckle and comment that this stereotype is still largely true today. But more and more, institutions and granting…

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Obama speaks to National Academy of Sciences

President Obama addressed the attendees at the 146th annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences this morning, where he highlighted new directives that support his science initiatives, including a new agency for high-risk energy research and increased funding for education at the secondary and graduate levels. According to NAS President Ralph Cicerone, who gave introductory remarks, every room of…

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The Ecologists go to Washington

With massive issues like invasive species, climate change and protection of biodiversity moving onto the world stage, ecological knowledge has perhaps never been in higher demand than today. Support for most (about 67 percent) of biological research in the U.S. comes from the National Science Foundation’s Biological Sciences Directorate (affectionately known as NSF BIO);  a similar granting program at the…

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Wikipedia: A scientific and educational opportunity

Emilio Bruna of the University of Florida wanted to assign students in his graduate seminar on plant -animal interactions something different than a term paper.  So he devised a novel plan that would help them learn some crucial concepts while writing concisely: rewriting Wikipedia entries.  I caught up with Emilio and student Kristine Callis, who is the first author of…

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SICB: ‘No thanks, New Orleans’

The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology announced this week in a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal that the society would not hold future scientific meetings in Louisiana in response to the recent passage by the state legislature of the Louisiana “Science Education Act.” The letter was first reported Monday in the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has also drawn coverage…

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Reflections on light pollution

In a paper published online this month in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, ESA member Bruce Robertson and his colleagues in biology and biophysics explore the concept of polarized light pollution. They synthesize work that shows how light reflected off of human-made surfaces can confuse animals and alter their behavior, leading to injury or even death. The American Museum…

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Policy News Update

There’s been a lot of buzz in Washington these past few weeks, and a good deal of it is about science. Here are highlights from today’s issue of the ESA Policy News Update, written by ESA’s Policy Analyst, Piper Corp. Science in the Economic Stimulus Bill. An $825 billion economic stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009,…

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The 109th annual Christmas bird count

One of last week’s Nature editorials extols the 109th annual Christmas bird count, a tradition started by the National Audubon Society as an alternative to the former competitive sport of shooting birds to mark the holidays.  The survey, which takes place during a three-week interval that overlaps Christmas and New Year’s Day each year, involves birders of all ages and…

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Get ’em outside

ESA is a member of the No Child Left Inside coalition, a group of American societies, institutions and other coalitions trying to reverse the trend that today’s youth are spending less and less time outside, to the detriment of themselves and society. At the core of this problem, says the Coalition, is the lack of dedicated environmental education in our…

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If you do science you should read this

Brian Greene, a professor of physics at Columbia, writes in the Sunday New York Times (June 1, 2008), “. . . Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective…..To be able to think through and grasp explanations — for everything from why the sky is blue to how life formed on earth — not because they are declared…

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