Science from Away: The Origin of Death Revisited

  Nearly eight years ago, I wrote a column about the origin of death. An edited version of this column appears below. Perhaps publishing on this subject at this time has to do with the feelings of some of us that we are at the origin of something that feels a bit like death. But [...]

Science from Away: A Short Science Story about Viruses and Cancer

Cancer patients in the 1800s were observed, too often to be chance, to be relieved of their cancerous tumors when they were ill with respiratory problems. When viruses were discovered later in that century, it was hypothesized that viral particles were responsible for the effect on the cancerous tumors. The discovery of viruses arose from [...]

Science from Away: Political Science Applied to Terrorism

  Does political science deserve to be called a science? When I was in high school and later in college in the 1950s, there was a required course we called “polysci” and the science engineering types thought it was great because we didn’t have to memorize a lot of facts or carry out mathematical calculations [...]

Science From Away: What are scientists doing?

  There are scientific journals and there are scientific journals. The latter are really only two, “Science” and “Nature” that are widely read, and publishing in such a journal gives the scientist enormous prestige among his or her fellows, which can translate to coveted benefits. This happened to me once in my forty-nine years as [...]

Science from Away: Epidemiology – We are the canary.

  Hoosick Falls is a lovely town in upstate New York near the Vermont border and famous as the home of a remarkable painter: Grandma Moses. As of recently, it is a famous town for the discovery that a chemical associated with the production of stick-free cooking ware, perfluorinated octanoic acid (PFOA), is at a [...]