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Posts Tagged: "science"

Capitol Hill Roundup

This week in Capitol Hill hearings focuses solely on meetings happening at the U.S. Senate. The one hearing scheduled at the U.S. House of Representatives, which was to explore whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was addressing small business concerns regarding 21st century telecom systems, has been postponed to a later date. In the Senate, the Commerce Committee will hold hearings on automated system for rail vehicles and challenges in the creation of rural infrastructure for broadband Internet. The Indian Affairs Committee is also exploring broadband challenges and the Superfund Subcommittee will discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) implementation of science transparency rules.

Google Downplays Importance of STEM Education Despite Increased Job Opportunities and Wage Prospects for Workers

Looking at the results of multi-year studies conducted by Google into its own employment practices, including hiring standards and team productivity, Davidson noted Google’s own findings that a hard skills from a STEM education were not as important as softer skills such as curiosity, empathy and emotional intelligence… On January 18th, NBC News THINK published a thought piece penned by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in which Pichai argues that the traditional stance on education, whereby students would graduate from academic institutions with the assumption that they had learned lifelong career skills, is no longer tenable given the rapid changes posed by technology. Pichai argued in favor of moving away from “code and intensive degrees” towards a more “lightweight, focused model” featuring apprenticeship and certification programs, some of which can be completed in less than one year.

Ethical, legal questions arise as scientists work to teach robots to feel pain

One way we use robots is the navigation of dangerous situations, in which robots perform tasks that would put a human worker at high risk of injury or death. A highly radioactive environment is one such example. If robots were able to experience pain, and interpret this type of sensory data as a threat to their physical existence, they would be better able to protect themselves from harm and complete tasks more efficiently. To return to “Star Trek,” Lieutenant Commander Data was able to identify atmospheric and environmental threats to his well-being, even if he was forced to describe them with a machine’s characteristic detachment. Interestingly, there’s also the possibility that pain sensors for robots could in turn protect humans.

The Patent Gender Gap: Less than 20% of U.S. patents have at least one woman inventor

Although women have more than quintupled their representation among patent holders since 1977, a pronounced patent gender gap remains. In 2010, according to a new briefing paper by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), fewer than one in five patents had at least one woman inventor named. Although quintupling the number of women inventors over the last 30+ years is impressive, at the current growth rate it is projected that it will take until 2092 for women to reach parity in patenting.

The Fredkin gate takes us one step closer to quantum computers

In late March, reports came out that researchers from Griffith University and the University of Queensland demonstrated the Fredkin gate, also known as the controlled-SWAP gate. First conceived by American digital physicist Edward Fredkin, the Fredkin gate is designed to exchange values between qubits in a quantum computing system based on a value of a third qubit. The Fredkin gate is perhaps a foundational component to quantum computers, replacing circuits requiring five logic operations with circuitry which takes advantage of the quantum principle of entanglement.

137 Years of Einstein: The scientific contributions of Einstein continue to amaze

On February 11th, 2016, researchers working at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced that, for the first time ever, gravitational waves had been directly observed. The discovery of these waves provides further confirmation of the scientific theory of general relativity, which was first promoted by German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. Given today would have been Albert Einstein’s 137th birthday, we wanted to revisit this recent discovery and explore what it means for the future of scientific research.

Nearly 30 years after Reagan’s patent initiative, room temperature superconducting still a dream

Superconductivity, and especially room temperature superconductivity, has been a holy grail of sorts, which the scientific community has sought for decades. Superconductors are materials which are capable of conducting electricity for an indefinite period of time without exhibiting resistance. This lack of resistance could revolutionize electricity transmission through a grid’s power lines, where as much as 10 percent to 15…

Debunking the myth that the government built the iPhone

Only someone who is completely indifferent to the truth, and who has intentionally put on blinders so they don’t see the truth, could ever say that the public does not benefit from federally funded research. It is sad that this even needs to be pointed out, but critics of the patent system and federal research funding can take intellectual dishonesty to bizarre heights. In other words, they are not beyond making outright false statements, which all too frequently go unchecked. Equally ridiculous is the argument that the federal government built every technology that is the result of some funded scientific breakthrough. The fact that the government invested in basic science doesn’t mean that all follow-on innovation that utilizes the discoveries was built and paid for by the government. Such an argument is completely disingenuous.

Large Hadron Collider could lead to more discoveries in antimatter and dark matter

The very tiniest particles that make up all of the matter that we can’t see are being discovered by the largest single machine ever created on planet Earth. With experiments having begun again at the Large Hadron Collider operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, teams of thousands of scientists are hopeful that discoveries of dark matter and antimatter may yield up important answers, perhaps in the next few months to such fundamental questions as “Why are we here?”

PTO Announces 2013 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Inventors Hall of Fame today announced the inductees for 2013. This year’s class includes inventors behind patented innovations such as the electronic synthesizer, flat panel plasma displays, iris recognition technology, and the code providing the foundation for 3G cellular systems. This year’s induction ceremony will take place on May 1, 2013 at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

Fish & Richardson Awards 33 Scholarships to U.S. Space Camp

Fish & Richardson has awarded full scholarships to 33 students and their teacher chaperones this year, marking 14 years of supporting kids and providing them with an opportunity to attend the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. The goal of Fish’s Space Camp Scholarship program is to get middle school students excited about the fields of math, science, and technology.

Building on Rhetoric: Time to Inspire Youth in Math & Science

At one point during his remarks last night President Obama said: “Nobody rushes on the field and dumps Gatorade on them (laughter) when you win a science award. Maybe they should!” Indeed we should celebrate science and math victories every much, if not more, than we celebrate sports victories, but that is not our culture unfortunately. We need to change our culture to raise the profile of those who are succeeding on every level in the scientific fields. President Obama can play a major role in bringing about that change, and his raising the profile of those who are science fair winners is certainly encouraging.

Biotechnology Industry Announces New Initiative to Improve U.S. Science Education

Biotechnology industry leaders announced today a major new program to improve the quality of U.S. life science education. The Biotechnology Institute’s new “Scientists in the Classroom” initiative is the life science industry’s response to President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The announcement came as life science industry executives participated in a White House event announcing the creation of the new broad education coalition called “Change the Equation” comprised of CEOs from across a broad spectrum of industries.

Innovation Starts with Math and Science Education

When it comes to talking with their kids, parents say the topics of math and science are harder to discuss than drug abuse, according to a survey of 561 adults who have children ages 5 to 18. The survey was conducted online between Sept. 23 and 28, 2009 by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates on behalf of Intel Corporation, and…