NASA isn’t just interested in putting more women in space.
The agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has appointed Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Dr. Laurie Leshin as its first female director.
She’ll assume the role on May 16th, replacing former director Michael Watkins (who retired in August 2021) and interim director Lt. Gen Larry James. She’ll also serve as vice president of Caltech, which manages the JPL.
Leshin has extensive experience, both in science and in breaking new ground. She has held senior positions in NASA, including a key director role at the Goddard Space Flight Center. As deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, she laid some of the groundwork for both commercial spaceflight and Artemis. She was Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s science dean, and has served as WPI’s first female president since 2014.
These are among the most mysterious questions in prehistory, and have long been studied using traditional archaeology: bones, artefacts and so on.
In recent years, however, the field has been revolutionised by genetic data. DNA from living people and preserved remains has both enhanced and transformed our understanding of the continents’ First Peoples (those who were on the continent before Europeans arrived) and how they got there.
Jennifer Raff is a genetic anthropologist at the University of Kansas who has been involved in many studies of ancient American DNA, so she is an ideal guide to the subject. Her book Origin bills itself as “a genetic history of the Americas”, and it largely delivers on that promise. The final third of the book, in particular, draws on genetic and archaeological evidence to tell the story as we see it now.
This section is a model of clear and nuanced explanation: Raff highlights the uncertainties and caveats, but doesn’t allow them to overwhelm the story.
From the sparkling palaces to the broodingly sensual these opulent hotels always deliver decadence.
By PRIOR Team, January 27, 2022
More than in any other city in the world, opulent hotels in Paris are part of the culture and indeed identity of the place.
They are the distillation of a singular type of decadence and glamor that gives the city that gilded quality of extravagance.
However with the sheer number of options, changing ownerships and openings (and closings) hotels in Paris can be hard to navigate. When they are superb, then the prices they command is money well spent but when they lack that particular Parisian lustre, then the experience of the city becomes a fantasy unfulfilled.
From polish to a patina, sensual to sparkling, here are glamorous addresses that are always a pure indulgence whether it is your first or fifteenth time visiting the City of Lights.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
Domestic dogs come in more sizes than any other mammal species. Now, researchers say a genetic mutation that emerged in wolves before they were domesticated is responsible.
On appearances alone, it may be hard to believe dogs like fluffy Pomeranians or spritely Chihuahuas really are descended from wolves.
But new research both illuminates and solidifies this relationship, while providing a new explanation as to why owners are even able to pick teacup poodles and short-snouted Shih Tzus out of the pack.
Domestic dogs come in more sizes than any other mammal species on Earth. This is a result of human preference and selective breeding — but this wide range of sizes is foundationally possible because of a newly discovered genetic mutation.
This mutation corresponds to small body size and it emerged in wolves before they were domesticated.
By British Psychological Society, UK, February 2022
There’s the science of storytelling, stories about science, and storytelling in science – bringing elements of storytelling to traditional forms like the journal article. Is that a distinction you’ve considered?
Definitely. I’ve done lots of writing about science and had to wrestle with some of the inherent tensions around with that: one of the main ones being that mass market storytelling tends towards simplification and good science tends towards nuance and complexity.
For example, there’s often a pressure to identify the hero of the story – this amazing person who discovered this amazing thing – and of course the reality is usually a team of amazing people.
Some scientists seem to think storytelling goes beyond simplification, to handwaving and fabrication, a means of obscuring and misdirecting…
Yes, and for good reason… if you want to mislead people or sell them your one-eyed view of the world, then storytelling is the best way to do it. It’s as dangerous as it is helpful. But there are ways around that. You don’t have to use storytelling for its most egregious purposes.
There are some basic understandings in the science of storytelling that are separate from this – especially things around structure, cause and effect, and simplicity. For my work I have to read a lot of books written by scientists, and even though I’m fascinated by them, they’re often a real struggle for a layperson like me to get through. They don’t understand some of these basic storytelling ideas. They’re often very discursive, over-complex, tend towards jargon… even the ones that are written for the mass market are sometimes like this. All scientists, but especially ones that are interested in engaging with the public, would be well advised to take some of these basic ideas seriously.