More in Science

3 months

How to Screw up the Experience Survey

I recently spent a day in New York City. The weather was dreary so it was a perfect day to see a Broadway matinee. Of course, no one wants to pay those Broadway prices. Down the street from the hotel, there was a theater company so I asked the in-the-know locals at the reception desk about the best way to get discount last minute tickets to a show within walking distance without standing in the rain at the kiosk in Times Square. They suggested an app.

3 months

The Death of Medical Expertise

“Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue,” the scholar Tom Nichols writes in his timely new book, “The Death of Expertise.” “To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything. It is a new Declaration of Independence: No longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other.”

3 months

A Missing Child Lies Buried

I want to know whose child this is that lies dead in room 32 and will be buried in a pauper’s grave. No ID, no papers, no report of a missing girl, who clearly has spent years on the street—track marks course hard and thick on her forearms, and hair knotted under a mothy, wool cap. Her mom deserves to know.

3 months

An ER Doctor’s Simple First-Step Solutions to Save Healthcare in America

I recently sat on a healthcare panel at Trinity University as part of the Centene REACH symposium. It’s always eye-opening to hear clinicians and non-clinicians passionately debate as to what is wrong with health care. Pretty much it was what you would expect. Everybody pointing at everybody else and a few misguided solutions. Seems like there is a lot of this going on lately. I walked away feeling a bit dejected because it is clear that in a room full of executives and health care policy makers in matching blue blazers, red ties, and sensible pantsuits, there is a huge dearth of understanding when it comes to human behavior, and it is human behavior that drives health care costs. Perhaps that’s what happens when the majority of people in charge don’t actually sit in ERs, or work in clinics, or provide mental health counselling to homeless schizophrenics, or have to tell someone they have cancer and that they should get their things in order. You can’t develop that worldview by just sitting in a committee.

3 months

Protein: Everything You Think You Know is Wrong

Sequential, societal trends in which first dietary fat and then dietary carbohydrate were vilified during recent decades have left dietary protein under an implied halo. The resulting infatuation is naïve, over-simplified, misguided, and misleading. Other than that- it’s perfect.

3 months

The World’s First Particle Robot - How the Art of Robotics Imitates Life

Robotics is an interdisciplinary field that spans across computer science, mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, artificial intelligence, mechantronics, mathematics, informatics, and more disciplines. Although robotics is a field created by humans, the inspiration for design and function often draws upon biology and living organisms. Recently a team of researchers from Columbia Engineering and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) created the world’s first “particle robots”— a new genre of robots comprised of particles that individually cannot move independently, but collectively behave like a biological system.

3 months

Quantum Breakthrough: Physicists Prove Antimatter is both a Wave and Particle

For the first time in history, physicists have demonstrated that antimatter is both a wave and a particle—a major scientific breakthrough. On May 3, 2019, a team led by Italian physicists along with the Albert Einstein Center for Fundamental Physics at the University of Bern in Switzerland, published their landmark study in Science Advances, a highly-selective peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)—an international nonprofit scientific association established in 1849 to amplify scientific communication not only between scientists and engineers, but also with the general public.