Posted: 19 Nov 2008 07:00 AM CST
This week the Alchemist hears how polymer chemists are turning to supramolecular chemistry (or is it supramolecular chemists turning to polymers?) to create novel flexible and elastic materials. In nanotechnology, a British consumer activist organization is calling for more safety data on nano materials used in cosmetics, and French scientists have demonstrated how nitrogen oxides released by snow melt in the Arctic could have a global impact.
In biological research, US scientists are suggesting that a specific active form of vitamin D could be useful as a protective agent against nuclear incidents. And, in interplanetary chemistry, Johns Hopkins researchers have found spectroscopic evidence that water-bearing opal formed on Mars much more recently than previously thought.
Finally, we’re going Dutch with this week’s award in which technology transfer in the area of solar energy conversion brings a financial reward and prestige to a graduate student and his colleagues. Get the full skinny and the links in current issue of The Alchemist
Posted: 18 Nov 2008 08:14 AM CST
What can regular skeptics actually do to enhance the appreciation of science and skeptical inquiry? This question has been an ongoing theme for Skepticality, and this week's guest has one answer to propose. In his audioÂessay, "Raising Our Game: The Rationale to Embrace Skepticamp," software architectÂReedÂEsau argues that "Skepticamps"Â(self-organizing peer conferences of intimate scale) can harness the potential of the "long tail" of the skeptical movement â offering a voice to all of us who have passion and expertise to share but who cannot take on the role of a "professional" skeptic.Â These meetings are anÂexperiment in the structure of a movement, and they are capturing the imagination of many new skeptics. What are the true implications for skeptical organizing? Is the advent of socialÂnetworking technologies really the moment when everything changed? Also Tim Farley of Whatstheharm.net talks with Swoopy about an effort to help out a fellow Skeptical activist in need.
This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now
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