History of Science


Late last week, a well-known science writer and scientist revealed he’d duped the science communication community (and in effect, the public, too) by publishing a terribly conducted study in an illegitimate, pay-to-play scientific journal on the health benefits of consuming chocolate. John Bohannon, the “Gonzo scientist” as he likes to call […]

Chocolate, for better or for worse


Thinking a lot about the Hubble Space Telescope this week. Friday, April 24, 2015, marks twenty-five years in orbit for the telescope whose glorious imagery has changed the way humans think about astronomy and space. I was lucky to be a UW-Madison science writer all those years ago and had […]

Covering Hubble: A Reminder from Deep in the Closet


Venus, Mars and a slight crescent moon gather together in the sky on February 20, 2015.
He’s on a roll! Another guest post – on Lunar New Year! – from Jim Lattis, director of UW Space Place and a faculty associate in the Department of Astronomy: Crescent Moon, Gibbous Venus, Dim Mars Should the sky cooperate this weekend, look for some interesting groupings of the very young […]

Catch a lunar love and war triangle




Professor Elizabeth Hennessey scrubs the shell of a Galapagos tortoise
The following is a guest post by Mary Ellen Gabriel, senior university relations specialist for the UW-Madison College of Letters and Science: Happy 206th birthday, Charles Darwin! Little did your parents imagine, as you were scrambling around the banks of the River Severn in southwest England, that your love of […]

A birthday message for Charles R. Darwin


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I didn’t know it at the time, of course, but UW-Madison science historian David Lindberg gave me the context for a career. As a science writer, I mostly cover discrete developments in science, the plodding, step-by-step construction (or deconstruction) of knowledge. That immersion in the minutiae of the natural or […]

Lessons of a Lifetime