Scientific Genealogy

I’m not sure how it is in other professions, but in science your lineage is important. Not your family lineage, but your scientific lineage, the mentor or mentors who taught you to be a scientist. I suspect science is a bit different, in this respect, compared to other professions like law, medicine, or business, where […]

Will Global Warming Freeze Us to Death??

I’m writing this from our camp up north, my wife and I came here partly to experience -20F temps with 25 mph winds pushing the wind chill towards -50F. It’s hard to experience this kind of cold in lower 48. It’s the death zone in terms of survival, unless you’re cozy inside…. Of course, as […]

Wake Up! It’s a New World.

Been awhile since I last made an entry here, lots of excuses: from sloth, to lots going on, to the unending ups and downs of being a soft money research scientist. Not a surfeit of ideas, but a surfeit of putting thoughts to type. Anyway, just got my latest copy of Science magazine in the […]

1/28/58: I am not a politician (III)

But somedays I do wonder if I am a moron, especially after I’ve spent some time dealing with issues related to health care. I get to do this because I chair the personnel committee at Bigelow Laboratory where I work. Lately we’ve been looking at benefits, trying to anticipate how much health care costs are […]

Tide Pools

I sometimes wonder what has led me into a career in science. It wasn’t my fifth grade teacher, and certainly not my freshman high school science teacher, whose course I scraped through with a D minus. Neither my mom or dad were scientists, although my mom liked to bird watch, and my dad, an ex-merchant […]

The Long March for Science

Wow, it’s already been over a month past since the March for Science that happened this past Earth Day, I’ve gotten too caught up in doing science and life to get this post, or other posts out recently. Anyway here goes. My wife Lucy and I spent Earth Day hiking on the south rim of […]


My wife, Lucy, and I drove to Quebec City in mid-February to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We took Rt 201 through Jackman to the border. North from The Forks, it was a beautiful winter drive, with even the tallest road signs only half visible in the snow banks, and not more than a handful of […]

World’s oldest fossils?

The big science news last week was a report announcing the world’s oldest microfossils found in rocks near Hudson’s Bay in Canada. These aren’t any old rocks, these are THE old rocks, with an estimated age of between 3.77 and 4.32 BILLION years. Some of the oldest rocks on the planet. Really almost unimaginably old. […]

Extremist Weather

In these angst-filled political times is it even safe to talk about the weather? I like weather and there sure has been a lot of here in mid-coast Maine lately.  At my house, a week before Christmas, we hit 5 below on a Friday night, Saturday morning was snowing and +3, by Sunday afternoon it […]


This past December was a hard month. Bigelow lab where I work, lost our director, Graham Shimmield to colon cancer, and we lost a trustee to cancer, I lost a cousin to ovarian cancer, and a colleague lost her mother, also to cancer. Everyone has their stories with this disease. It’s a killing field that […]