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Bill Davis / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

A temporary mass migration that could reach into the millions is expected as people across the United States relocate to catch a prime view of the country’s first coast-to-coast total eclipse in nearly a century.

A dad and his daughter on the final stretch of the March for Science at the Oklahoma capitol on April 22, 2017.
Joe Wertz / State Impact Oklahoma

Oklahomans joined thousands of people in more than 600 cities on Saturday in a march for scientific freedom organized to send a message to state and national lawmakers.

Geeky Love Is in the Air With These Science Valentines

Feb 10, 2017
I'm just going to interrupt and remind our listeners... I love you. -- Ira Flatow
Brandon Echter / Science Friday

Ah yes, it’s mid-February, which means that Homo sapiens is engaged in a regular mating tradition:  Valentine’s Day! This year the SciFri staff made some geeky valentines to share with your favorite scientist.

Here’s how they work:

Join the SciFri Book Club This Summer

Aug 7, 2015

The SciFri Book Club is back in session! Last winter, we ventured deep into the gnat-infested Amazon jungle with David Grann’s tale of Victorian-era exploration, The Lost City of Z. This time, the only bugs are in the hardware. Join us as we read Tracy Kidder’s true story of computer engineering heroism, The Soul of a New Machine.

The western gray whale recently set the new world record as the mammal with the longest known migration, according to a study published by the academic journal Biology Letters.

The researcher behind the study, Bruce Mate of Oregon State University, found that a female western gray whale swam a total of 13,988 miles – from Russia to Mexico and back – in 172 days.

Can one particular genetic mutation explain why some people are more anxious and less resilient than others?

Scientists at the Weill Cornell Medical College studied a gene mutation discovered about 10 years ago that only about 20 percent of Americans have. It bathes the brain in a sort of ‘natural cannabis.’

The New York Times is calling it the “feel-good gene,” because of the correlation between the mutation and a lack of anxiety, and an ability to bounce back.

The Cornell researchers wanted to know if there was more than a correlation.

A New Dawn: NASA Spacecraft Reaches Ceres

Mar 6, 2015

After eight years and 3 billion miles, NASA’s “Dawn” spacecraft finally slipped into orbit around Ceres, a dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter. The big moment happened at 7:39 a.m. Eastern time and it’s a historic mission on many levels.

Dawn is the world’s first attempt at a double encounter in space; the vessel first traveled to Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System, and after 14 months, started its journey to Ceres.

Here's your task: Based on information about individual applicants to an MBA program, you need to predict each applicant's success in the program and in subsequent employment. Specifically, you'll be given basic information — such as the applicant's undergraduate major, GMAT scores, years of work experience and an interview score — and you'll need to assess the applicant's success (relative to other applicants) in terms of GPA in the MBA program and other metrics of achievement. Will the person be in the top quarter of all applicants? In the bottom quarter?

A few minutes before my flight to Helsinki touched down, I looked out the window at Finland's flat, snowy, forested landscape. It appeared still and serene.

It was December 2011, and I was moving to Finland to conduct anthropological fieldwork among experts developing what might, in the early 2020s, become the world's first operational geological repository for high-level nuclear waste.

Move Over Barbie, Here Comes Madame Curie

Sep 3, 2014

Two young women who studied engineering at the University of Illinois want to inspire girls to become scientists by offering dolls based on real people, like Nobel Prize-winning chemist and physicist Marie Curie.

Janna Eaves and Supriya Hobbs founded the Miss Possible company to offer an alternative to Barbie or American Girl dolls.

Rosetta Space Probe Reaches Distant Comet

Aug 6, 2014

It’s been a very long journey — 10 years, five months and four days.

The European Space Agency announced this morning that the Rosetta space probe has finally arrived at its destination: a comet 450 million miles away, called 67P or Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Rosetta is now closely following the comet, and the agency hopes it will soon execute the first-ever gentle landing on a comet.

OK, I'm doing great science experiments. We've done sex (see previous post). On to lunch!

This is the story of a bird, a puzzle, and a painting. The painting, curiously, helped solve the puzzle, which is: How do vultures find food?

You might say we're attracted to this kind of story:

Last month, there was the news that Czech researchers believe that dogs prefer to align themselves along "the North-South axis under calm [magnetic field] conditions" when they're dropping those deposits that we owners have to pick up.

Antarctica is one of the best places on Earth to spot these fallen stars.

Each winter — which is summer in down south — a team of geologists camps out on an Antarctic glacier in the middle of nowhere, often where no human has ever tread. It's kind of like a space voyage, but a lot cheaper.

And it's the meteorite that's done most of the traveling.

No one who's been paying attention for, say, the past few decades, needs to be reminded of how extremely polarized Washington is.

So it's usually good news when Democrats and Republicans can come together on an issue, as they did recently to support the idea of creating the new honorary position of "Science Laureate of the United States."