You have undoubtedly seen the moon, but have you ever seen it up close in glorious 4K resolution? Probably not, but you can see it right now on YouTube. NASA has uploaded a new video, created mostly from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) observations. The video takes you on a tour of several different regions, some of which still present tantalizing mysteries for future exploration.
The U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing last week for the National Science Foundation's proposed 2019 fiscal year budget, and what the agency's leaders heard was a blistering assessment of the agency's spending. Still, committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said, things have improved significantly in the past year, though challenges remain.
The James Webb Space Telescope is intended as the successor to Hubble, which is now more than 25 years old. Hubble was last services during one of the final Space Shuttle missions, and there are no plans to make another visit. When it stops working, that will be the end of the mission. The JWST was already supposed to be in space at this point, but it’s a complicated project costing more than $8 billion to date. NASA wants to get it right, and that has led to the latest delay.
As educational opportunities, science fairs let students tackle the scientific method hands on. Classically that process begins with identifying a question, developing a hypothesis to answer it and then devising an experiment to test that hunch. In principle, kids who participate will not only learn about science but may be inspired to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. But the fairs also have problems.
Scientists have linked hundreds of genes to intelligence. One psychologist says it’s time to test school kids. A year ago, no gene had ever been tied to performance on an IQ test. Since then, more than 500 have, thanks to gene studies involving more than 200,000 test takers. Results from an experiment correlating one million people’s DNA with their academic success are due at any time.
Junk science is no longer welcome at the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Scott Pruitt has declared war on what he calls “secret science” - the process whereby EPA regulators have been able to craft rules using non-publicly-available science data.
As awareness of bias has increased, so too have efforts to address the subtle ways in which women find their work devalued. But in many institutions, women still struggle to get male peers and supervisors to acknowledge the problem.
The appropriations bill gives NASA $20.736 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, which started more than five and a half months ago. That is more than $1.6 billion above the administration’s original request of $19.092 billion. A House appropriations bill offered NASA $19.872 billion and its Senate counterpart $19.529 billion. An overarching two-year budget deal reached earlier this year raised spending caps for both defense and non-defense programs, freeing up additional funding.
Benjamin Firester won the top award at Regeneron STS 2018, the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Benjy won first place for his development of a mathematical model that uses disease data to predict how weather patterns could spread spores of the late blight fungus, which caused the Irish Potato Famine.
The nonprofit group Achieve, which advocates for better standards and assessments, has launched an interesting new initiative that brings together several trends: curricular alignment, digital badges or credentials, and open educational resources. The initiative is meant to respond to the continuing challenge of ensuring that, in the nearly 20 states that have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, the materials used for teaching and learning are aligned to the new expectations.