By Jeff Danner Jeff has worked in both the chemical and biotech industries and is the veteran of thousands of science debates at cocktail parties and holiday dinners across the nation. In his Common Science blog, Jeff aims to make technological and scientific concepts accessible to all.
  • The Greatest Invention of the 21st Century

    December 3, 2012 at 1:54 am

    “Berkeley is Berkeley but Cal Tech is Cal Tech” – Hamadri Das (1)   Want to win a Nobel Prize and also go down in history as the greatest inventor of the 21st century?  Then find the breakthrough that makes artificial photosynthesis a practical, large-scale reality.  Why you ask?  Read on. Last week’s column, “Methane […]

  • Common Science Flash Post: Flu Season Update

    November 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I’ll be posting my regular weekly column Sunday evening as usual, but something caught my eye earlier today. Hence this mid-week “flash post”. My column on October 7, “Why This is an Important Year to Get your Flu Shot”, laid out the arguments that suggest that the flu season of 2012-2013 would be worse than […]

  • Methane Hydrate Part II: All You Really Need to Know About Global Warming

    November 26, 2012 at 2:41 am

    The hodgepodge of information available on global warming and climate change can be bewildering, sometimes intentionally so.  Let me see if I can clear away some of the clutter and boil it down to a couple of numbers that you need to keep track of to understand global warming.  I do need to warn you […]

  • Methane Hydrate Part I: The Science

    November 19, 2012 at 1:17 am

    In the coming months and years, you will be seeing more and more news stories about methane hydrate.  Some will claim that it is the energy source of the future while others will warn that it will bring about the end of civilization as we know it. So what is methane hydrate and what drives […]

  • Risky Business

    November 12, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Many of my columns have contained critiques of public policy decisions made by our leaders in the areas of energy production, agriculture, and environmental protection.  The decisions made by our leaders, as driven by public concern, often do not reflect a data-driven analysis of risks and benefits, but rather the instincts and emotions of the […]

  • Why Ohio is not Close

    November 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    To celebrate Election Day, here is a quick Common Science guide to understanding polling results.  In order to keep people interested in their coverage, most national news organizations have steadfastly described presidential polling results as “close” without regard to the underlying statistics.  The presidential race in not at all close, as laid out in great […]

  • Nanotechnology

    November 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    I expect nanotechnology to bring about noteworthy advances in science and technology over the next 50 years.  Nanotechnology is based on the surprise and unique properties of materials which are between one and one hundred nanometers in size.  A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, which is smaller than the wavelength of visible light.  […]

  • Political Non-Science Part II: Calling Dr. Holdren

    October 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    This is the second installment of my review of science topics which deserve better treatment in the presidential election than they have received.  Follow this link to start with part I.   Climate Change   The events of 2012 should have finally pushed climate change to the forefront of our national political conversation.  Earlier this […]

  • Political Non-Science: Part I

    October 22, 2012 at 3:40 am

    In order to help secure a peaceful and prosperous future, national policies on energy, the environment, and public health need to be based on good science.  Sadly, during the current presidential election there has been little meaningful, science-based discussion of any of these vital areas.  While both candidates have disappointed, you’ll find that the majority […]

  • Deep Sea Vents, The Key to the Biggest Questions in the Universe?

    October 15, 2012 at 12:33 am

    By the 1970s, we pretty much thought we had the world figured out.  You name it – quantum physics, black holes, DNA, plate tectonics, evolution, space travel – we knew all there was to know about it.  (Though to be honest, the popularity of both the leisure suit and velour from the 1970s do remain […]

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