Full Moon, Half Measures

Week in Review / by Evan Lerner /

As the world turned its attention to the moon, politicians tried to figure out how much it will cost to save the Earth and who is responsible for footing the bill.

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Of course, if these plans don’t work, we might start seeding oceanic algal blooms with iron pellets or building giant solar reflectors in space. On Monday the American Meteorological Society put out a position paper on the topic. US science adviser John Holdren drew some heat when he suggested in April that geoengineering solutions to climate change might need to be considered; he can now add a major institutional ally to the list.

While their recommendations are fairly boilerplate—research the science, study the potential social and ethical impacts, and prepare policies accordingly—the addition of another voice to the chorus on geoengineering is sobering. We may have crashed our climate so hard into the ground that it needs to be rebuilt like the Six Million Dollar Man

This Week in Publishing

Science journal powerhouse publishers Elsevier and Cell Press announced the modestly titled “Article of the Future” project on Wednesday. Though it sounds like a new attraction at Disney’s EPCOT center, the project’s goal is to reimagine what the primary mode of communicating new scientific findings should entail. The two prototypes boast tabbed navigation, audio interviews with authors, and interactive diagrams, though little is actually functional yet.

Though it’s about time the journal article got a Web 2.0 shot in the arm, there’s no indication as to when they might actually start showing up on Elsevier or Cell Press’s websites. In any case, I’m hoping the new Rejecta Mathematica gets involved. The first edition has plenty of snark and vitriol from authors on why their papers were rejected from various journals, though it is sadly only text; these mathematicians deserve to have their angry rants captured on video. 

Originally published July 24, 2009

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