When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled “The Double Helix” on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama, filled with colorful characters, about ambition and competition in the pursuit of nature’s wonders. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.… Seguir leyendo »
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This month marks the 100th anniversary of the General Theory of Relativity, the most beautiful theory in the history of science, and in its honor we should take a moment to celebrate the visualized “thought experiments” that were the navigation lights guiding Albert Einstein to his brilliant creation. Einstein relished what he called Gedankenexperimente, ideas that he twirled around in his head rather than in a lab. That’s what teachers call daydreaming, but if you’re Einstein you get to call them Gedankenexperimente.
As these thought experiments remind us, creativity is based on imagination. If we hope to inspire kids to love science, we need to do more than drill them in math and memorized formulas.… Seguir leyendo »
The rocket attacks on Israel launched by Hamas militants in Gaza, coupled with Israel’s retaliation, have disrupted peace talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. This is a great victory for the radicals in Hamas, who never wanted such talks. While visiting the region this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to remind everyone that the real goal is to weaken Hamas.
One way to do that is to strengthen its moderate Palestinian opponents. Fortunately, there is a smart and honest leader of these forces: Salam Fayyad, an apolitical economist (with a doctorate from the University of Texas) who is prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.… Seguir leyendo »