“Science is not sexy.”

“Science is too much coffee and Birkenstocks and bad hair, but that’s not what people want to hear.” That from bioethicist Debra Matthews, joking last night about the disconnect between the tedious work of sitting at a lab bench waiting for some cells to grow and then trying to get the public excited about the results […]

In Good Company

There’s no love lost between Neil deGrasse Tyson and the UT physics department — they’re still dissing each other four decades after the Longhorn poobahs filleted his dissertation. When The Alcalde, the alumni magazine for The University of Texas at Austin, put the director of the Hayden Planetarium on this month’s cover, I was chagrined […]

Pass the Nuts

Cashew shells can be used to mop up heavy metals. Nature India reports that researchers have developed an absorbent material from chemically modified cashew nut shells, an agricultural waste product, which is able to remove harmful heavy metals such as copper, cadmium, nickel, and zinc from aqueous solutions. This kind of sustainable solution for cleaning up industrial […]

Ugly, Indeed

Gee, how many of the millions disabled by leprosy do you think will attend England’s “Leper Festival”? This annual event takes place on January 29, World Leprosy Day, in Taddiport, Devon, a hamlet that was a leprosy colony in the Middle Ages. The festivities include a torchlit procession, a “Leper Ball,” and an “Ugly Pageant.” […]