July, 2018

For Cooper Square Review

 
 
 

At one level, Seeds of Science is an account of Lynas’s personal evolution from fierce opponent to unabashed champion of a controversial new technology; at a deeper level, it examines how influential voices of criticism (in this case, against GMOs) can persist when not subject to the checks and balances the scientific community uses to reassess and fine-tune its own understanding of nature and biotechnology.

 

April, 2018

For Cooper Square Review

 
 
 

When addressing our impact on the Earth, as well as the future of our species, we are confronted with a desperate list of options. Words like “renewable energy,” “GMOs,” “monoculture,” and “fracking” come pre-loaded with positive or negative connotations. Our visceral responses often feel as though we are donning political hats, rather than adopting well-thought positions. Any unequivocal stand will fall short when trying to answer the hard questions that Charles C. Mann poses in his new book, The Wizard and The Prophet. For starters: how will we “feed 10 billion mouths?”

 

February 18th, 2018

For LABOCINE

 
 
 

KEEPING TIME

Hourglasses, sundials, clocks, and calendars have all been methods we use to keep track of time. With a check of the watch (or smartphone) we can know whether we’re running late or we have time for a coffee stop. But timing things right isn’t always a conscious decision, or a trivial one. Organisms need to know when to hunt, migrate, hibernate, mate, molt, and flower, to list a few.

Here we look at time through multiple lenses, because meaningful information that winds one organism’s “clock” may be extracted differently than that information which winds another’s.

 
 

January 11th, 2018

For LABOCINE

 
 
 

SUPERORGANISMAL

Superorganisms are harmonious, equilibrated, stable societies made up of altruistic organisms of the same species. In a superorgansim, the concept of “individual” is lost and the survival of the colony unit is sacrosanct. Only one or a few reproductively active queens has the capability to pass on their genes, while sterile workers will ensure that she does indeed succeed.

Here we explore the inner functionings of ant hives—ants being a social insect and a prime example of the superorganism.