Interesting

What is Citizen Science?

For better or worse citizen science has become a fashionable term, but what is it and why do people like it? Citizen Science is a big component in a larger movement of public participation and engagement. There are makers and hackers everywhere and participation in science feels like it is increasing in general. This is […]

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More on Men and Women in Astronomy

The response my previous blog post about gender bias took me by surprise. Apparently if you talk about this stuff openly, people have a lot to say. More than 500 people have read the post on this site and more over at the Women in Astronomy blog. After posting it, I also emailed the upcoming […]

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Apollo Astronauts and Solar Radiation

The Apollo astronauts narrowly avoided serious health problems, and even death due to exposure to radiation from the Sun. Here’s a plot of the approximate Solar proton flux during the Apollo era: Here’s the same but with the missions and health warnings labelled: Scary stuff! I made these images for a talk I gave a while […]

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ITER: A Thermonuclear Reactor That Scientists Will Tidy Up When It’s Done

Yesterday I toured the site of ITER, the nuclear fusion plant under construction near Cadarache, France. A multinational collaboration is pumping 150 billion Euros into this experimental fusion reactor, which aims to create 500 mega-watts of power, for every 50 that are pumped into. ITER, which sort of means International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor but is […]

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Olbers’ Paradox

Wendy Sadler (of Science Made Simple fame) was asking, on Facebook, what explanations people usually gave for Olbers’ Paradox. The slew of answers from several people revealed that the canonical answer is not the only one people think of. The paradox is named for a 19th Century astronomer, Heinrich Olbers, who remarked that if the […]

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