Pessimistic Reading of Physical Renderings

Society teaches us that science has no limits; that you and I can be whatever we want to be, do whatever we want to do, and that scientists are nothing but an utter bouquet of bright minds moving from grass to grace, sharing their knowledge with all and sundry, passing on the ‘Universalistic’ torch inscribed with the message: all is possible in the name of science. True to its nature, the more we learn about the physical world the smaller it gets, the more justifications we come up with for branching out of our egg-shell shaped Earth, for exploring the Moon, the stars, the Milky Way, the Universe. But whence come our limit, if any?

Campuses Come Together to Unpack Healthcare Issues

Some of the most contended issues in the nation — concepts of healthcare, medical care access and coverage — were debated yesterday evening in Goldwin Smith Hall at an interactive discussion led by Dr. Arthur Garson, executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia.
Garson previously served as the dean of UVA’s School of Medicine. A cardiologist and author of Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Reality, Garson dissected many “myths” surrounding the institution of healthcare providers.

Who Said Agriculture is not the Backbone of Cornell, U.S.?

At a time when Ann Coulter ’84 and Keith Olbermann’79 are butting heads over the legitimacy of the Ag School and the value of a communication degree, it seems appropriate for scientists to ask: Are there any facts in Ms. Coulter’s claims? I invite you to look at another (maybe, the third) side of the coin, what we call the narrative of science: Imagine Cornell without Agriculture, without the Life Sciences, without Communication (especially, in the life sciences)…

On the Evolution of Science, by Means of Artificial Selection

“Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then we may perhaps find the truth.” Remember that quote? No? Well, at a time when scientists had lost all hope of solving the chemical structure of atoms, let alone compounds, Friedrich Kekule proved there was a way out. Not by hard work (although he did put in the effort) but by sheer serendipity — a DREAM, literally a daydream. Kekule had just taken a nap, and while napping, he saw a bunch of beads — six to be specific, stringed together — juxtaposed unto a snake figure. The snake wiggled and curled itself, and before you know it, the snake was biting its tail.

U.N. Official Details Importance of Foreign Aid

“If you can change a simple meal, you can change a society,” Bettina Luescher, spokesperson for the U.N. World Food Programme said yesterday evening in Goldwin Smith Hall’s Kaufman Auditorium during a talk entitled “Global Food Crisis: A Hungry World and What We Can Do About It.” The lecture was funded by the FreeRice Initiative, a newly-established student organization dedicated to reducing world hunger.

Energy Scientist Explains Particle Physics

As part of their weekly Particle Theory seminar, researchers at Newman Laboratory converged yesterday for “A Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hadron Collisions,” a lecture by Associate Scientist Peter Skands of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

However, contrary to the title, the lecture seemed to be geared specifically towards an audience familiar with high energy particle physics, and the audience was comprised mainly of people who work in the field. The lecture focused on the mobility of some of the world’s smallest particles in existence, which include quarks, hadrons and parton.

Cornellians Evaluate Progress of Africa Initiative

In his 2006 State of the University Address, President David Skorton announced an initiative that would coordinate Cornell’s support of sub-Saharan African Development. Yet, given that there has been just one follow-up meeting held one year after its inception, some proponents of the initiative claim that the initiative has lagged in its progress.
Last night, the Coalition of Pan-African Scholars (COAS) at Cornell, the Wananchi East African Association and the Nigerian Students Association co-hosted the event, “The Africa Initiative: A Dinner & Discussion” to address the lag in the project and to suggest possible approaches that the University can take to move forward with the initiative while boosting current support for developmental efforts, academic enrichment and research.

Hans Bethe Lecture Draws Large Crowd

“If you looked far back enough, the universe should have been decelerating before it [started] accelerating,” said Prof. Robert Kirshner, Clowes Professor of Science, Harvard University, and the former president of the American Astronomical Society, at last night’s lecture entitled “The Accelerating Universe: Einstein’s Blunder Undone.”
Kirshner’s lecture last night was one of three talks on schedule for this year’s Hans A. Bethe Lecture Series. Over 200 people, including students, professors, elementary school kids and their parents, attended the lecture at in Schwartz Auditorium.

Weill Hall Opens Doors to Serve Life Sciences

Faculty members, alumni and beneficiaries gathered yesterday evening to dedicate the Joan and Sanford ’55 Weill Hall and the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology.
Weill Hall — which cost $162 million to build and features state of the art equipment — will serve as the base for Cornell’s New Life Sciences Initiative and its Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology.
“It would be a place where we tangibly support our efforts of sustainability. It would be a place where innovative ideas will be developed from the bench to the bedsides,” President David Skorton said at the ceremony.