Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jordi on Dark Matter @ FameLab 2014

Fame Lab is a competition to find new voices of science across the world. In these events various speakers compete for the best popular science short talk. The events are hosted in various countries and there are competitions at regional, national and international level.

This year Jordi Casanellas (former PhD student in IST-Lisbon and now postdoc at the Albert Einstein Institute near Berlin) attended Fame Lab Germany. As the video below shows, in the first stages of the competition speakers cannot use blackboards (not to mention slides or projectors) and their talk has to be ~3 mins long.

Jordi talked about his field of research, Dark Matter, and in fact did a great job: he passed the regional competition and went to the national finals (see video below), where he placed second!

So, if you want to have an idea of what Dark Matter exactly is (or what scientists actually think it should be...) you don't have to do anything but listen to Jordi's speeches. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pull back: "Scientist: Four golden lessons" by Steven Weinberg

Just came across this brilliant essay by Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg, writing about his experience as a young scholar, his first steps in research and the connection between science and epistemology.

The essay is so short and clear that I could have copied it here in its entirety, but I'll just give you one inspirational paragraph:

Look back 100 years, to 1903. How important is it now who was Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1903, or President of the United States? What stands out as really important is that at McGill University, Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy were working out the nature of radioactivity. This work (of course!) had practical applications, but much more important were its cultural implications. 

and leave the rest for the original