12.25.2015

What We’re Reading

Houghton Mifflin and Company’s Holiday Books for MDCCCXCV, via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s just a few items to keep you busy over the weekend. Best wishes for the holiday season from all of us at NCSE.

  • The North Carolina Town That’s Scared of Solar Panels, Revisited, Vox, December 18, 2015 — Dave Roberts re-examines the town which blocked a solar farm—one worry was reportedly that the panels would “suck up all the energy from the sun”—looking at the roots of NIMBYism and tools for overcoming it.
  • This Ancient Femur Might Muddle Up Human Evolutionary History, Washington Post, December 21, 2015 — Researchers found a femur in China that adds to the growing evidence that human relatives once thought long-extinct may have lived as recently as 10,000–20,000 years ago.
  • How Science Education Can Save the World, Huffington Post, December 21, 2015 — University of Massachusetts professor Scott Auerbach tells us how science education can help us save the world (and stop climate change). Hint: the answer involves rethinking how we approach science and mathematics with students.
  • Animated Life: The Living Fossil Fish, The New York Times, December 22, 2015 — This animated documentary covers the discovery of the so-called living fossil, the coelecanth, described here as “an awesome survivor and one of the biggest natural history surprises of the 20th century.”
  • A Deeper Confusion (PDF), Evolution: Education and Outreach, 2015 — A detailed and informative review of two popular books about junk DNA—John Parrington’s The Deeper Genome and Nessa Carey’s Junk DNA—by Georgi K. Marinov, who worries that they are “guaranteed to only generate even deeper confusion.”