The social consequences of the present direction of science and technology are clear. New technologies used to strengthen state surveillance, the interminable research and production of weapons and delivery systems, the necessity to end carbon based energies, the corporate nature of science and universities, intellectual property rights and the seizure of knowledge as private property for private returns, genetic engineering and GM, AI, algorithms, big Pharma’s dominance and its impact on health care, environmental pollution and degradation and, dominating all, the role of human activity on climate change.
While many “single issue” campaigns try to address some of these, there is no organisation that challenges overall the role of science and technology in society today. Fifty years ago, when some of these issues were starting to emerge in public debate, over a thousand people, including leading scientists, with a Nobel prize winner and some Fellows of the Royal Society, created the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science, (BSSRS) which turned issues previously treated as neutral and technical into focal points of political controversy and contestation.Read More »
With the historic first-ever image of black hole, scientists have achieved a great step forward. It is a great leap forward on behalf of the entire human society. It is a historic moment in human history. It is a great achievement by science. April 10 will be marked as the day humanity got its first look at a black hole. The achievement further confirmed Albert Einstein’s general Theory of Relativity that predicted the existence of black holes. Einstein a century ago even predicted the symmetrical shape that scientists just found.Read More »
Designing for bikes has become a hallmark of forward-looking modern cities worldwide. Bike-friendly city ratings abound, and advocates promote cycling as a way to reduce problems ranging from air pollution to traffic deaths.
But urban cycling investments tend to focus on the needs of wealthy riders and neglect lower-income residents and people of color. This happens even though the single biggest group of Americans who bike to work live in households that earn less than $10,000 yearly, and studies in lower-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Boston have found that the majority of bicyclists were non-white.Read More »
New Delhi: Cotton seeds that were carried in a bucket-like tin to the far side of the Moon by a Chinese spacecraft sprouted, marking the first time that humans have grown plants in off-world conditions.
Update, January 16, 9:30 pm: The plant has died. The Guardianreported that as the temperature on the Moon’s far side dropped below -170º C, “its short life came to an end”. The scientists who had setup the experiment (details below) had apparently anticipated this outcome.
The Chinese spacecraft Chang’e 4 landed on the far side of the Moon on January 3. It carried with it a seven-inch tall bucket-like can that contained air, water, soil and seeds of potato, cotton and Arabidopsis (the mustard family) plants. On January 15, China’s state-owned television network tweeted that the cotton seeds had sprouted.
Field photographs of fossil-bearing exposures at Tapar, Gujarat. Inset: example of conglomerate exposure. Caption and credit: doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0206314
For the first time, Indian palaeontologists have unearthed hominoid ape fossils from localities in Gujarat.
The researchers consider the finding to be important because it is the first proof of the presence of apes outside the Himalayas. “Such localities are globally rare and every new locality brings a lot of excitement,” says Ansuya Bhandari, a palaeontologist at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow, who found the fossil and led the study.
Artist impression of W2246-0526, a single galaxy glowing in infrared light as intensely as 350 trillion suns. Credit: RAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
Active galaxies are some of the most luminous and impressive objects in the sky. They tend to be massive, distant and emit extraordinary amounts of energy as material falls into the supermassive black hole that lurks at their centre. Astronomers have recently discovered that some of them are also hidden from plain view by huge amounts of gas and smoke-like dust. But it is unclear how these rare objects form and feed.
NASA Kepler against the backdrop of outer space, with an oil-paint filter. Credit: NASA
NASA has called time on its iconic Kepler Space Telescope. It was the most prolific planet-hunter ever engineered by humans, and it out of fuel after nearly a decade of amazing discoveries. The timing of NASA’s bidding Kepler goodbye – November 15, 2018 – coincides with the 388th death anniversary of Johannes Kepler, the German mathematician discovered the laws of planetary motion. It was after him that the doughty little spacecraft was named.