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As a young man, neurobiologist John Hildebrand was torn between his love of science and his passion for playing music. So he chose to live a dual life, working as a professional musician by night and leading innovative scientific studies of the insect nervous system by day. Using the moth Manduca sexta as a model, Hildebrand has explored the connec…
 
When he was growing up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Jeremiah Ostriker seldom got to see the stars. But he still went on to become one of the world's most influential astronomers.Ostriker was among the first researchers in the field of cosmology-the study of the origin and fate of the universe-to propose a model of the universe that accounts…
 
As the daughter of a biochemist, Rowena Matthews met more than her share of scientists. But she never thought she could become one, because most of them were men. It wasn't until college that Matthews discovered her own passion for biochemistry, and the possibility of juggling cutting-edge research with motherhood and a rich family life.Throughout …
 
Donald Saari grew up exploring the woods of northern Michigan, where he developed a lasting curiosity about the natural world. He found a way to understand and use that curiosity in the field of mathematics. He has used math to unravel a number of different mysteries, including how planets move around their suns and whether voting accurately repres…
 
Susan Taylor says she dreams about molecules, but she never planned to work on them. The Wisconsin-born biochemist intended to be a doctor, until love led her in a different direction-and she never looked back.Taylor is known for having unraveled the molecular structure of protein kinase, an enzyme that helps turn on and off some of the most import…
 
Why does your nose look like your nose? Why doesn't it look like your elbow, when the DNA in your nose and your elbow are the same? These seemingly simple questions have captivated Mina Bissell for the past 40 years.Bissell faced quite a bit of resistance when she set out to find the answers: it was the 1960s and she was female, foreign and had unc…
 
In the span of about four years, Tom Jordan went from flunking out of college to teaching at an Ivy League university. But that dramatic turnaround isn't the only drama in Jordan's life. The Panama-born geophysicist specializes in the drama of the deep. His research has revealed the deep structures underlying continents, the inner workings of plate…
 
Diane Griffin's science education started early. The daughter of a geologist, Griffin learned about the world from every hike or drive she shared with her father. But in the end, it wasn't rocks that won her heart,it was viruses. Griffin has spent her career studying how viruses make us sick, and how our bodies respond to them. Her work has shed li…
 
Sociologist Yu Xie learned early that society can profoundly shape a person's life. Growing up during China's Cultural Revolution, he experienced his father's political imprisonment and his family's subsequent exile to a rural village. Their struggles left him with a deep-seated skepticism that would later fuel his scientific research.After abandon…
 
The loss of tropical forests worldwide is a big part of the climate change puzzle, and we wouldn't know it if it weren't for Ruth DeFries. Her innovative use of satellite images-or "remote sensing"-to study how humans are changing their planet has revealed some of science's big surprises, from the rate and extent of rainforest loss in the Amazon to…
 
Larry Squire came this close to becoming a professional gambler. For one whirlwind year during graduate school in psychology, he terrorized the card tables of Palo Alto, doubling his stipend by playing poker, and prompting his department to ask him to leave.That risk-taking streak carried Squire into the fledgling field of brain-based memory resear…
 
When a young Mary Jane Osborn announced she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up, her father wondered aloud why she shouldn't be a doctor instead. Fueled by his faith that she could succeed in what was then a man's profession, Osborn went on to study physiology and biochemistry. Her work as a graduate student revealed how methotrexate, now a major…
 
Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, is an atmospheric scientist whose research in atmospheric chemistry and climate change has involved him in shaping science and environmental policy at the highest levels nationally and internationally. His work with Richard Stolarski in 1973 led to the discovery of the C10X chain mechan…
 
For over three decades, experimental psychologist J. Anthony Movshon has mapped the mysterious borderland where vision and action intersect. But he almost never made it there. Coming of age in the tumultuous late 1960s made him question whether he should give up on his interests-music and science-and consider doing something more socially relevant.…
 
During this second annual African American History Program lecture, Dr. Wanda M. Austin discussed how living by your values, and working for an employer with values you admire, you can make a huge difference for communities, companies, and citizens. A National Academy of Engineering member, Dr, Austin is president and chief executive officer of The…
 
This interview with Eduardo Kac and Kevin Finneran initiates a 10 day online discussion of the nexus between visual culture and evolution held April 5 through April 4, 2010. Visit www.vcande.orgעל ידי cpnas@nas.edu
 
Mark Sloans photography exhibition was on view at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. from July 30, 2009 through March 17, 2010על ידי cpnas@nas.edu
 
Dr. Reed V. Tuckson gives the first annual African American Hsitory Program Lecture on 200 Years After Darwin and Lincolnעל ידי cpnas@nas.edu
 
In 1994, New York Times writer Dudley Clendinen's mother followed the example of her generational compatriots: she sold her home and moved into an all-amenities-included geriatric apartment building: Canterbury Tower in Tampa Bay. Wealthy, poor, Christian, Jewish, widowed, married-all of Canterbury's residents had come together, at the average age …
 
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