Articles of Note
Check out these two quizzes: Are You Ready for Math Whiz Camp? (from The New York Times) and How Much Do You Know About Science Topics? (from the Pew Research Center).
Worth a look: Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop in L.A. and former rector of the Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, at the Los Angeles Religious Ed conference on Feb. 24 talking about why Catholic young people are becoming NONES. He addresses the major issue of science and faith. (The whole talk is valuable, but if you’re in a pinch, fast forward to 10:00 mins).
An evolutionary psychology professor at Oxford University theorizes that religion was key to humans’ social evolution, reports Julie Zauzmer in The Washington Post.
The New York Times details NASA and European astronomers’ discovery of seven Earth-size planets orbiting a not-too-distant dwarf star. It’s a major step toward searching for signs of alien life outside the solar system.
A new study suggests that bees can learn to master an insect version of football simply by watching other bees complete the task — and they can even improve upon their buddies’ technique, reports Traci Watson in Nature.
Biologists with the Earth BioGenome Project have set an “audacious goal” of sequencing the DNA of all life on Earth, according to Science magazine.
Deforestation of the Amazon has come roaring back thanks to increasing agricultural land use, reports The New York Times. And that’s causing concern about the impact on the climate.
A new book by Sister Katarina Schuth, a major researcher on seminary formation, has been reviewed at Commonweal, and is worth our notice.
A video from Science magazine shares its editors’ Breakthrough of the Year and their take on the top results of 2016.
The New York Times offers a look at NeuroTracker, a new video game used by pro sports teams that claims to sharpen cognitive skills—but some scientists are skeptical.
In Science magazine, Greg Miller reports on a pioneering study imaging activity in fetal brains, providing the first direct evidence of altered brain function in fetuses that go on to be born prematurely.
Explore Nature’s 10, a look at 10 people who mattered in 2016, from an astronomer who detected the nearest known planet outside the Solar System to an atmospheric chemist who laid the foundation for an international climate agreement.
A new study suggests that a blood test could predict recovery time after concussions, notes Meredith Wadman in Science magazine.
Nature recaps the science events that shaped 2016—from gravitational waves to space exploration to the spread of Zika.
Read The New York Times’ review of The Undoing Project, a “story of two friends who changed how we think about the way we think.”
Striking, fascinating visuals abound in Nature’s best science images of 2016.
Watch this Science magazine video to learn how a tomato ancestor evolved 50 million years ago near Antarctica.
Religion and science can have a true dialogue—and the assumption of a conflict between the Church and the research world should be dispelled, Kathryn Pritchard contends in Nature.
In National Geographic magazine, David Dobbs shares why hope thrives in advances in the treatment and cure of blindness — in a world where roughly one in every 200 people on Earth — 39 million of us — can’t see.
In his Sept. 1 Message “Show Mercy to our Common Home,” Pope Francis reinforced his commitment to the environment, connecting it to the Year of Mercy theme, for the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
Alex Rosenberg explains, in The New York Times, “Why You Don’t Know Your Own Mind” — how experiments in cognitive science, neuroimaging and social psychology are showing that introspection and consciousness are not reliable bases for self-knowledge.
In The Irish Times, Cormac O’Raifeartaigh explores how Belgian priest Georges Lemaître came to propose one of the most famous theories of modern science, a theory even Einstein initially found far-fetched.
Some initially scientists rejected Georges Lemaître’s theory because they thought “he was looking for a religious explanation for the beginning of the universe,” notes Brian Maye in another Irish Times article published on the 50th anniversary of Lemaître’s death.
Joanna Klein writes in The New York Times about how you can become a shadow angel in the morning dew, thanks to an optical phenomenon known as heiligenschein—German for “holy light” or “saintly appearance.”
More than just a game? Read in this Nature article why scientists are urging Pokémon Go fanatics to keep an eye out for new species—and potentially transform taxonomy along the way.