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  • Jahren_HERO

    Gaia, the Scientist

    What if the first woman scientist was simply the first woman?

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    Climate Change Is Making Plants Behave Like Costco Shoppers

    Plants have their own form of money: carbon dioxide. For decades, our fossil fuel industry has been artificially inflating their currency. What happens to plants during inflation—when CO2 levels in the atmosphere rise? The same thing that happens if you drop money from the sky over Times Square, leaving everyone there with $1,000 in their […]

  • Berger_HERO-F

    Why Do So Many Scientists Want to be Filmmakers?

    The problem with C.P. Snow’s famous two-cultures hypothesis.

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    The Real Difference Between You and a Plant

    The best way to draw the line sounds less biological than poetic: What separates us is the “difference between staying and going,” as Hope Jahren, the geochemist and geobiologist, puts it.Vincent van Gogh / Wikicommons One way to rouse someone is to ask: “What makes you think you’re so different from a plant?” Several sensible […]

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    It’s Not Romantic Anymore to Say That Plants Have Brain-like Systems

    Last month, when the mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, presided over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, he gave a speech that would go viral. In it, he rebuked the South’s long-nurtured tendency—expressed in slogans like, “Heritage, not hate”—to romanticize the Confederacy. “We shouldn’t romanticize Confederate monuments,” read a recent letter […]

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    The World According to Scientists

    In Victorian England, one pastime among friends and family was to jot down your “Confessions”—answers to semi-serious questions of taste and principle. One day, in the spring of 1865, Karl Marx had a go. Several of his answers spotlight habits of the scientific mind. The quality you like best? Simplicity. The vice you hate most? Servility. […]

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    Are We Being Too Superficial About the Gender Problem in Science?

    Hope Jahren, a geobiologist at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, is “very cynical about efforts to get girls into science.”Photograph by GSK / Flickr Why should the share of women in a given occupation affect its average pay? It’s a curious inverse relationship. Census data show that when the former increases, the latter decreases—when […]

  • Berger_HERO

    It’s Personal: Five Scientists on the Heroes Who Changed Their Lives

    Meet the inspiring people—none named Einstein—who helped these scientists find their calling.

  • Berger_HERO

    Five Scientists on the Heroes Who Changed Their Lives

    Meet the inspiring people—none named Einstein—who helped these scientists find their calling.

  • Hope_HERO

    My Family, My Science

    One girl’s scientific coming of age.