Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren

By Sarah Boon, Ph.D. Hope Jahren’s first book, Lab Girl, is a memoir about her career as a scientist from Georgia Tech (1996–1999) to Johns Hopkins (2000–2008) to the University of Hawaii (2009–2016). In engaging prose, it tells the story of how an awkward girl from Minnesota overcame numerous academic challenges (despite being a woman and having a mental illness) to become a world-renowned researcher in partnership with her senior research manager of 20 years,…

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Our First Full Year under Solar Power

The quiet revolution on our roof started a year ago and we’re loving it. So here’s everything you have always wanted to know about installing solar power (in Nova Scotia). Location location We live at 45N on the right side of the continent, exposed to the Labrador current. Result: very cold winters. We average 1,806 sunshine hours per year, distributed over 287 days (source). In 2002 we rebuilt and expanded this modest 1950 bungalow into…

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Quantifying Plastics in Canada’s Aquatic Landscapes: Rigour and Repetition

By: Natalie Sopinka  In Canada, plastic pollution of our waterbodies is an emerging concern in a crowd of aquatic stressors. Similar to chemical contaminants such as PCBs, plastics can be pervasive across both time and aquatic food webs. In the oceans, reports of ingested plastic by seabirds have spanned a half century: surveys from 1966–1967 found “plastic toys” in the stomachs of Herring Gull in Newfoundland, and today macroplastics (plastics > 5 mm) and microplastics…

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Carbon nanotubes self-assembling into transistors on a gold substrate

I’m not sure this work is ready for commercialization (I think not) but it’s certainly intriguing. From an April 5, 2017 news item on ScienceDaily, Carbon nanotubes can be used to make very small electronic devices, but they are difficult to handle. University of Groningen scientists, together with colleagues from the University of Wuppertal and […]

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The insanity of Canadian science outreach (Science Odyssey, May 12 – 21, 2017 and Science RendezVous on May 13, 2017)

When was the last time you saw a six-year old or a twelve-year old attend a political candidates’ meeting or vote in an election? Sadly, most creative science outreach in Canada is aimed at children and teenagers in the misbegotten belief that adults don’t matter and ‘youth are the future’. There are three adult science […]

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Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) for the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation gala on May 17, 2017

The Canada National Science and Technology Museums Corporation (CSTMC) gala is known officially as the National Science and Innovation Gala according to a May 11, 2017 announcement (received via email), FULL STEAM AHEAD TO THE NATIONAL SCIENCE AND INNOVATION GALA LET’S TALK STEAM Demonstrating Canada’s commitment to a vibrant, national science culture, the evening’s panel […]

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Improving silver nanowires for flexible transparent conducting electrodes (FTCEs)

This is a very pretty image from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), An April 4, 2017 news item on plys.org announces the research, Flexible transparent conducting electrodes (FTCEs) are an essential element of flexible optoelectronics for next-generation wearable displays, augmented reality (AR), and the Internet of Things (IoTs). Silver nanowires (Ag […]

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