Profiles

Scientist will head to ISS in summer

Scientist will head to ISS in summer

One afternoon two summers ago, Kathleen Rubins, a principal investigator at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, gathered her lab members for a quick meeting. “Have we done something wrong? “, the lab manager, recalls thinking. Then it struck her: A while ago, her boss had mentioned that she was applying to astronaut training. Rubins had downplayed her chances of getting in, so no one gave it another thought. Her intuition — that Rubins must have heard from the folks at NASA — was correct: Rubins […]



Vocalizing Science

Vocalizing Science

This past summer, Ari Daniel Shapiro, 30, was part of a research team that tracked killer whales off the coast of northwestern Canada. Every morning, the crew set out to affix sensors to the elusive mammals to capture their vocalizations and movement. Shapiro, whose training is in biological oceanography, would download the day’s data and prep the recovered sensors for the next deployment. Since is assisting with the data analysis and will be a co-author on any scientific articles that result. Yet, technically, Shapiro isn’t an […]



Ethan Zuckerman on how to engineer serendipity online

Ethan Zuckerman on how to engineer serendipity online

In a wired world, finding information about events in a distant part of the world – the score of a soccer game, the aftermath of a military coup, or a nascent hip-hop movement in a conservative country – is straightforward. Even if news sites overlooked a certain event, chances are that a blogger has not. “But how do you find stuff you don’t know you are looking for?” asks Ethan Zuckerman. This koanlike question comes from his work as a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman […]



Low Tech Inventions With High Impact

Low Tech Inventions With High Impact

Happy when good things happen to good folks? With up to $25 million in new USAID funding, D-Lab will now gain greater ability to help people in the developing world find their own solutions. In the past, I have written about Amy Smith, founder of D-Lab  and the work this lab does — such a pleasure knowing almost every person associated with the place. (M-Lab, IDDS).  Amy Smith is not an easy person to track down. Even during the school year, this inventor and instructor at […]