Guest Post: Can an Equation be a Poem?

“The most distinct and beautiful statement of any truth must take at last the mathematical form.” —Henry David Thoreau April is Mathematics Awareness Month. April is also National Poetry Month. Coincidence? Yep, almost definitely. But it’s also an opportunity: I’d like to propose that we—you and I, at least until the end of this blog […]

Guest Post: I Walked Across the Hudson River

Several times a week, I drive over a Hudson River bridge to pick up my daughter from her school in Troy, NY, and bring her back home to the Albany side. Back and forth I go, and every time my eye wanders to the frozen surface below. Even when it’s dark and there’s nothing to […]

Interview with Will Storr: Disputable Sources

Ann:  Will Storr is a phenomenon.*  His specialty is writing good stories about people in bad places.  He’s got a story in Matter about an extremely unpleasant disease called Morgellons.  People with Morgellons have terrible itches, then tiny fibers creep out of their skin and make oozy sores.  The disease sounds like a horror story out […]

Guest Post: Put Your Money Where Darwin’s Mouth Is

In the fourteen years that I’ve been teaching high school biology, I’ve been asked a lot of weird questions about evolution. But, until recently, I’ve not been asked whether Charles Darwin could make you rich. Is evolution good for business? In a recent debate, Bill Nye, the popular science educator, argued it is. Actually, Nye […]

Guest Post: Thought’s First Draft

You cannot walk more than a dozen paces at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, a cloister of sorts for the more theoretically- and mathematically-inclined of the science community, without happening onto a chalkboard. Secured on at least one wall of each small office on the building’s two floors is a spacious chalkboard. Chalkboards run […]

Guest Post: Painful Lessons

It used to go like this: The nice doctor smiles and checks your heart, ears, and knees, pronounces you healthy, and off you go. Grab a lollipop on your way out! (Doctors used to have candy jars. Dentists used to give out toothbrushes.)  You are not yet 20! Life is good! Then suddenly you’ve flown […]

Guest Post: Mad Collectors of Science

Several years ago, I went on a reporting foray to Building 8 of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. I had known about the work of John Daly, one of the world’s greatest-ever amphibian natural product scientists, and I decided I would learn more by doing a profile of him for my writing […]

Guest Post: The Dog

A neighbor dog and I walk up a snow-crusted hill together. Glossy black lab mad for sticks and balls, he hasn’t forgotten how to travel with a human in the woods. He ranges forward and back, and side to side, sniffing and sussing the hilly woodlands around us. Not every day is it a mountain […]