Science: Elements & Motion

Black Holes and Psychic Vampires

    Two months ago, the country was melting down, the virus was winning, and the prospect of being sucked into a black hole in outer space was the only scenario terrifying enough to dwarf the rest of my angst. I read to distract myself, but the explanations confused me from the start: Black holes […]

Nobel, Not Nobility

With the current rise of chemophobia, anti-vaccine sentiments, and attempted government bans on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we are in an interesting dichotomy of science and society. Our technology and scientific knowledge pushes new boundaries every day and is often celebrated on popular websites such as Buzzfeed and I F—ing Love Science, yet there is […]

Moon Mysteries

The early days of the Earth were violent times. Today, our solar system is relatively quiet and sedentary, presided over by an aging star that is long past its stormy youth. But 4.5 billion years ago, our sun was just forming its planetary progeny, and things were far from quiet. Huge masses of rock and […]


‘Omics’ has been a science buzzword for the past few years, as well as the butt of many jokes; a certain genomics center includes a badomics generator on its website, which puts the suffix on random words to create fake but strangely compelling journal publication titles. University of California, Davis professor Jonathan Eisen regularly announces […]

Research On Research

Every few months, the media catches wind of a new scientific discovery and headlines everywhere pronounce that the world’s problems have been solved. The cure for autism, cancer, depression, and other maladies; the proposed results sound promising and exciting, but upon reading further into the literature, implications of the data become more and more hazy. […]

Voting On Science

With another Nov. 4 come and gone, some statewide science ballot items deserved national attention. This time another two states, Colorado and Oregon, voted on the mandatory genetically modified organisms (GMO) labeling initiative. As in California and Washington in 2012 and 2013, Proposition 105 (Colorado) and Measure 92 (Oregon) aimed to require the food industry to label […]

When Worlds Collide

We’re all familiar with the TV episode where characters dream up an alternate universe, and wake up to their familiar one where everything goes back to ‘normal.’ This is typically regarded as a scientific plot device, though from a hard science point of view parallel universes are nothing to be scoffed at, as the study […]

Open Access’ Future

As the largest scientific society currently existing, the American Chemical Society (ACS) serves many purposes for chemists, as well as scientists in other disciplines. It organizes national and regional meetings where researchers can present and share their data, provides members with job listings, offers educational training opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, it publishes a wide range of […]

Taking Stock of Bonds

Every fall semester, nearly a thousand bright-eyed freshmen take their seats for Chemistry 111, and told that throughout the course they will learn the story of the electron. It makes for a great cohesive semester (though famously challenging for the students), as the professors move through electron properties, atomic structure, and molecular orbitals to arrive at […]

“The Sagan/Tyson Problem”

I like to play a game whenever meeting someone new. I try and guess what the reaction will be when it’s discovered I am a chemist. The most common response is a look of terror and disgust, and the inevitable, “Oh I hated chemistry in high school!” The other most likely alternative is: “Does that mean […]