heroes of science


Vera Rubin, the woman who discovered the first evidence of dark matter, has died at 88

  • Vera Rubin, the astrophysicist responsible for confirming the first existence of dark matter, died on Sunday night at the age of 88.
  • Carnegie Institution president Matthew Scott called Rubin “a national treasure as an accomplished astronomer and a wonderful role model for young scientist.”
  • Rubin and her colleagues observed galaxies in the 1970s, they learned the motion of stars is a result of a “material that does not emit light and extends beyond the optical galaxy” — also known as dark matter.
  • Swiss astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky proposed the idea of dark matter in 1933, but Rubin’s groundbreaking work subsequently led to the confirmation of the material.
  • This finding is what led to the discovery that 90% of the universe is made up of dark matter, a finding some colleagues felt was overlooked and deserving of a Nobel Prize. Read more

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Clearly I am really slow on the uptake, because I just realized if you look at the buttons on Honey Lemon’s purse:

Those are the abbreviations for elements on the periodic table. Honey doesn’t just go into battle, push a button, and have it spit out a pre-made chemical ball. 

She literally encounters an obstacle, comes up with a solution in her head, and types up a formula for it on the fly. 

Sea Hero Quest is of huge benefit to medical researchers. So what’s the catch?

In tech circles, alongside words such as “scaleable” and “the gig economy”, you often hear the phrase “tech for good” bandied around. Sometimes it’s a fairly innocuous but ultimately toothless concept, essentially denoting the idea that technology has the potential to be a driver for positive social change but not doing very much about it. Other times it can take on a more creepily utopian tone, suggesting that should the world more closely represent the shiny libertarian enclaves of Silicon Valley, the world’s problems would be solved. And sometimes – just sometimes – it does what it says on the tin.

A new game, designed to test spatial navigation, appears at first glance to do just that. Sea Hero Quest, which involves navigating a boat through choppy waters, contains a diagnostic test for the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The game has now been played by more than 2.4 million people – which the team behind the game say makes it the largest dementia study in history.

BLM Celebrates Its “Heritage Heroes”

Earlier this year, the BLM celebrated the winners of the “Heritage Heroes Awards”. Individuals and groups comprised of BLM employees, BLM volunteers, or project partners were nominated for their significant support of the cultural heritage, history, paleontological resources, tribal consultation, or museum collections programs.  Below we share the work of these remarkable individuals as a teaser for the announcement of the newest winners of the Awards, which we will be featuring each month.  Congratulations to all the Heritage Heroes Award winners!

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