The chemistry of Guinness

Dear imaginary readers, i found this amazing explanatory image on the “Chemical and Engineering” news website a couple of days ago. It is perfect to celebrate St. Patrick day!!!

Guinness chemistry

The original article is here.


Art of Science

Dear imaginary readers, can you look at nature and find its intrinsic beauty? That is what artist has always done, producing different visions and reproduction of the natural world.

What about scientists? Are they able to reproduce the hidden aesthetics and symmetry of it? Well, to me, the answer is necessarily yes. In the past a scientist was often an artist as well.

Think about Leonardo, for example. Visual art has been important for the scientific community as a way to share knowledge, results, and new achievements (see also my previous blog post Science drawings at the Royal Society).

The fact that art and science are  interconnected is still true. The authors of the images exposed at “Art of Science”, edition 2014, organized by the Princeton University, are mainly researchers, PhDs students, and undergraduates students. The exhibition aims to show the link between science and art, even when the artistic side of it comes out in a random accidental way.

The images displayed are the products of research projects, and they are chosen both for their aesthetic excellence and for their scientific or technical interest.

They have the power to raise attention on the process of the scientific research, and attract the general public, giving them the opportunity to appreciate the overlapping of science and art, and the secret beauty of the micro and macroscopic world seen with the eyes of scientists.

These are the four winners:

  • First Place
Watermarks, by Sara Sadri (postdoctoral researcher
  • Second Place
Fungus among us, by James S. Waters (postdoctoral researcher)
  • Third Place
Portrait of the artist in the air shower, by Yasmin Afsar (graduate student)
  • People’s choice
Fruit fly factory by Yogesh Goyal (graduate student), Bomyi Lim (graduate student), Miriam Osterfield (post-doc), Stas Shvartsman (faculty member of staff)

You can admire all the images participants at the “Art of Science” 2014 and the online galleries from previous years here.

Why it’s crucial to get more women in science

Dear imaginary readers, because today is the national women’s day, I would like to share with you a very interesting article written by Marguerite Del Giudice, published on National Geographuc on November 2014. Even though it focuses mainly on the USA situation, I believe it is worth a reading, both for women and men.

I would also like to remember to all the women that the battle for equality it is still on, and I hope we will fight other battles as our, like the ones for the minorances and the oppresses of the world.

I will leave you with a quote by Rose Luxemburg, the one who is believed to have chosed the 8th of March as an international date to celebrate the fight for their rights of the women from all over the world.


Alfred Eisenstaedt, Time & Life Pictures, Getty Images
Rachel Carson, who revealed the unregulated use of DDT and other pesticides by the chemical industry in her book “Silent Spring”, would have gotten a Ph.D. in biology from John Hopkins University but was overburdened by three jobs and the responsibility of caring for her mother. Alfred Eisenstaedt, Time & Life Pictures, Getty.

Why it’s crucial to get more women in science

Amid growing signs that gender bias has affected research outcomes and damaged women’s health, there’s a new push to make science more relevant to them.

James Gross, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has a 13-year-old daughter who loves math and science. It hasn’t occurred to her yet that that’s unusual, he says. “But I know in the next couple of years, it will.”

She’s already being pulled out of class to do advanced things “with a couple of other kids, who are guys,” he says. And as someone who studies human emotion for a profession, Gross says, “I know as time goes on, she’ll feel increasingly lonely as a girl who’s interested in math and science”—and be at risk of narrowing her choices in life before finding out how far she could have gone. (See “In Her Words: Sylvia Earle on Women in Science.”)

Gross’s concern speaks volumes about what has been a touchy subject in the world of science for a long time: Why are there still so few women in science, and how might that affect what we learn from research?

Women now make up half the national workforce, earn more college and graduate degrees than men, and by some estimates represent the largest single economic force in the world. Yet the gender gap in science persists, to a greater degree than in other professions, particularly in high-end, math-intensive fields such as computer science and engineering.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, women in fields commonly referred to as STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) made up 7 percent of that workforce in 1970, a figure that had jumped to 23 percent by 1990. But the rise essentially stopped there. Two decades later, in 2011, women made up 26 percent of the science workforce.

It’s not that women aren’t wanted. “I don’t know any institution today that is not trying to hire more women scientists and engineers,” says one science historian. But many cultural forces continue to stand in the way—ranging from girls being steered toward other professions from an early age and gender bias and sexual harassment in the workplace to the potentially career-stalling effects on women of having children……you can read the full article here.