How does science make progress? How do scientists know what they claim to know? What does it mean when scientists say they have come to a consensus?
These questions are far more than academic. We live in a world where issues of science and technology dominate headlines and policy. In that way, science and its claims effect the very real world choices we all face in domains as varied as climate change, genetically modified foods and the uses of Big Data.
Tyrannosaurus rex is perhaps one of the most famous animals to have ever roamed the Earth. This huge, fierce meat-eater has graced Hollywood films as the perpetual villain, and it has played a notorious role in the science community that studies it, too.
In some sense we're all experts in emotion. We experience emotion every day, all the time. We constantly observe the emotional responses of others, and we often make decisions based on anticipated emotions: we pursue something because we think it will make us happy, or avoid something because we worry it will anger someone else.
The world's most famous ant-scholar likes to daydream. "So much good science â and perhaps all of great science," he writes in his new book "has its roots in fantasy."
After seeing Jurassic Park, where scientists clone dinosaurs from the blood of ancient dino-biting mosquitoes,Wilson thought: Hmmm, that's a little far-fetched, but I bet I can do a version that might be "really and truly possible."
In Thursday's New York Times there's an article on keeping a score card by hand at baseball games. Who does it anymore? Fewer and fewer people, according to the article. Why bother when you can enjoy a live play-by-play on your handheld device? And if you insist on keeping score yourself, there are apps you can download that make it much easier than doing it by hand.
I guess doctors, especially doctors-in-training, have to get used to sudden, inexplicable endings. You are trained to heal. That's the goal, that's the point. But every so often, you don't win. Something you didn't see coming, comes. I don't know which hurts more, the 'suddenly' or the 'why?" If the patient is clearly dying, it's easier. You can prepare.
If mosquitoes used Yelp, they might look for their next meal by searching nearby for a heavy-breathing human with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.
Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?
What is so rare it has never been seen directly, because if you could get enough of it together, it would self-vaporize from its own radioactive heat?