Presidential science debate?

The editorial column of the February 2008 issue of Scientific American includes a call for the presidential candidates to have a debate over issues of science and technology. Consider this partial list of issues that the next president of the U.S. will need to address: reducing greenhouse gas emissions; ensuring freshwater supplies; encouraging reliance on …

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A wild world of a different sort

Back in October, I wrote a post about the idea of introducing large mammals (elephants, camels, lions, and so on) into the high plains of the United States (see Pleistocene mega-fauna -- coming to a drive-thru safari park near you). The idea is to somewhat restore the pre-human ecosystem by bringing in mammals that went …

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Secrets of the Expert Mind (part 3)

Do the concepts of expertise and excellence lead to a narrow focus on one thing, to the exclusion of all else? Does the kind of focus that it takes to become a top computer programmer necessarily mean that person will be the stereotypical "computer nerd?" I think not. Take the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay …

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Secrets of the Expert Mind (part 2)

Yesterday's entry was a bit long; here's the Reader's Digest version: According to the August 2006 Scientific American article "The Expert Mind," motivation and effortful study are more important than natural ability for becoming and expert in one's field. It takes ten years of intense work to truly become an expert in an area, but …

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