Current events

Earth Day 2017: Onwards and Upwards

A picture of a statue of the Lorax

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,  nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax Less than fifty years ago on April 22, 1970, the modern day environmental movement was born and the first Earth Day was celebrated. Rachel Carson, scientist and writer, is credited with raising environmental awareness… Read more »

Earth Day 2017: Reclaiming Climate Science

A picture of Earth from space against a blue backdrop. The continent of Africa is obscrubed by a large cloud formation in the Anarctic.

When scientists communicate with the public about politics, they often frame the issue as “science vs. politics.”  For instance, some scientists champion speaking truth to power, while others suggest that they stay out of the political fray altogether.  Both arguments assume that science and politics are independent and mutually exclusive.  Furthermore, they presuppose that science could and should remain politically… Read more »

The Lessons of Science Past—Learning about the History of Science

The logo of the Junto. It is a set of concentric circles labeled with the names of different states in the Midwest of the United States. It mirrors a geocentric cosmological diagram (with the earth at the center) in Peter Apian's Cosmographia, 1524.

As a reader on this blog, you probably enjoy learning about science.  But how much do you know about its history?  If you’re a scientist, do you know where your field came from?  There are fascinating stories behind the instruments you use and the journals you read.  If you’re not a scientist, do you know… Read more »

Hidden Figures, No More

Movie Release image of three women, who are the main characters of Hidden Figures.

This is the second installment of ScIU theme posts for Black History Month. The authors are ScIU guest writer Marvin Q. Jones, Jr., a graduate student in IU’s Department of Mathematics from Newport News, VA; and Steve Hussung, also a graduate student in IU’s Department of Mathematics. Check out our other Black History Month post… Read more »

A Black History Month for All of Us

This is a ScIU guest post by Brett Jefferson, a Ph.D. candidate in IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Department of Mathematics.  From Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to travel in space, to Dr. Sylvester James Gates, a theoretical physicist who published the first comprehensive book on supersymmetry, to Marcellus Neal,… Read more »

“Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds”[1]: Topic modeling Darwin’s reading at Indiana University.

In our December 27th post  “On On the Origin of Species: An ode to science writers”, Clara Boothby explored how clear, compelling science writing can increase circulation of scientists’ ideas among the general public. While our previous post saw the Origin of Species as a model for scientific writing, here we explore how researchers at IU… Read more »

Harnessing the therapeutic benefits of marijuana: Research findings from Dr. Andrea Hohmann’s laboratory at Indiana University presented at international neuroscience conference

Image of the brain surrounded by marijuana leaves

Last week, over 32,000 neuroscientists met in San Diego for the annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference. Joining them were members of IU’s Program in Neuroscience, including Dr. Andrea Hohmann, who is also a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts in Sciences and a Linda and Jack Gill Chair of Neuroscience… Read more »

An Event Like No Other–Science Fest 2016

You’d have to wonder what could bring close to 600 students, faculty, staff, and parent volunteers to the IU campus on a Saturday morning. They could instead be home mowing the lawn, enjoying a nice stack of pancakes at the Runcible Spoon, or sleeping in…..but no. This team of people is  on a mission to… Read more »

Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials – Viruses aren’t all that bad

Viruses are often associated with disease, but they can also be useful. Viruses infect many organisms other than humans, including plants and bacteria. Aside from being infectious, the actual structure of a virus can be harnessed as a material. For example, a virus cage can be used to deliver drugs to our cells or to… Read more »