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.
  • 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 […]

  • Why This is an Important Year to Get Your Flu Shot

    October 8, 2012 at 12:51 am

      Given that last fall I wrote a four-part series on influenza and the human immune system, you can probably guess that this is a topic that fascinates me.  (If you would like to go back and read it, here are the links, Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.)  I had not […]

  • Nuclear Power Part III: Safety and Conclusion

    September 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    This is the third and final installment of my series on nuclear power.  I covered the basic science in Part I and the challenges of waste management in Part II. This week I will discuss nuclear power plant safety and share my thoughts on whether we should continue to produce electricity by splitting atoms.   […]

  • Nuclear Power Part II: Waste, No Solution So Far

    September 24, 2012 at 12:39 am

    When I started writing about nuclear power last week, I was planning on a two-part series.  As I started Part II, it quickly became apparent that a three-part series would be needed to keep the segments at manageable lengths. So this week I’ll cover nuclear waste and next week I’ll move on to operational safety […]

  • Nuclear Power Part I: The Science

    September 17, 2012 at 1:23 am

    I’ve written quite a few columns about electricity generation, but until this week have left nuclear power out of the conversation.  Given that nuclear power currently generates 14% of the world’s electricity, I thought it was about time for a Common Science review of this fascinating, yet controversial, technology.   With the exception of solar […]

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