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A monster week for extrasolar planets

Michelle CollinsJun 04, 2014Comments
It’s been a busy week for extrasolar planets. At the summer meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Boston, Harvard astronomers have been wowing the attendees with a host of exciting new results. The first is the so-called ‘Godzilla’ planet (or Mega-Earth), Kepler-10c which was first discovered back in 2011. An analysis of its composition by Xavier Dumusque and ~  read more

Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes

Alex ScourasJun 04, 2014Comments
In an article more typical of the Onion than PNAS, researchers found that, normalized for pressure and damage, high intensity storms with feminine names caused more deaths due to "gender-based expectations about severity". Using data from 1950-2014, thier model "suggests that changing a severe hurricane’s name from Charley (MFI = 2.889, 14.87 deaths) to Eloise (MFI = 8.944, 41.45 ~  read more

Science and vaccines

Timothy SaundersJun 03, 2014Comments
Whenever we took our daughter to the doctor in Germany for her vaccines he would comment along the lines: "good, you're a scientist, I don't need to persuade you that she should have these".  Sadly, too many people are taking risks with their children's and other people's health. This is the most depressing research I've seen this year:   Pediatrics study on vaccine uptake and ~  read more

Have you got a metric for that?

Timothy SaundersJun 03, 2014Comments
Find out whether it's worth the effort...   PI predictor (hat tip to Matt Davis for unearthing this one)   Sadly, it sometimes feels like science is going this way - all that matters is your h-score, etc. My feeling is that once you get to the interview stage, this sort of thing doesn't matter so much - but it almost certainly makes a big difference at the short-listing point. ~  read more