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JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Hal Harris's picture

On Fact and Fraud: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science

Sat, 05/01/2010 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

David Goodstein has enjoyed a long and productive career at the California Institute of Technology as a professor of physics and as Vice Provost. He brings to this small book on scientific ethics the perspective of an administrator of scientific research, a viewpoint that I have not seen expressed in any other place.

Hal Harris's picture

Boyle: Between God and Science

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Robert Boyle is known to most chemists solely for his Law relating the pressure and volume of a gas, but this privileged son of the Earl of Cork was not as interested in discovering an equation as he was in determining what his experiments could tell him about his own relationship to God.

Hal Harris's picture

Lithium Dreams: Can Bolivia Become the Saudi Arabia of the Electric Car Era?

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

There was a time when it was possible to estimate the size of the total US thermonuclear arsenal by measuring the ratio of Li-6 to Li-7 in commercial sources and knowing the amount of the metal in the economy. (Li-6 had been removed to make hydrogen bombs.) Now the lightest metal is prominent in other kinds of energy schemes.

Hal Harris's picture

Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

One of the most memorable lectures I have ever experienced was given by Nobelist Willard Libby. He spoke at University of California, Irvine in 1968 or 1969, but the essence of his talk about the atmosphere of Venus is still fresh in my mind because he told such an engaging, entertaining story.

Hal Harris's picture

Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

The world has never more needed public understanding of science than it does now, and those of us in science education have a special obligation in this regard. The answers to health care, climate change, conservation of the environment, and so forth are not going to be found in science alone, but if they are to be addressed rationally, science literacy will be necessary.

Hal Harris's picture

Mammogram Math (The Way We Live Now)

Wed, 12/02/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Imagine a highly reliable cancer test. It detects 95% of a certain type of cancer, and has a "false positive" rate of only 1%. This test is used on a population in which this type of cancer occurs in 0.5%. One day your doctor tells you that you have tested positive. What is the chance that you are actually sick? Surprisingly, it is only about 32 percent!

Hal Harris's picture

Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World's Greatest Scientist

Tue, 12/01/2009 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

Isaac Newton was a complex man. Every student learns of (but few master) the laws bearing his name that govern the motion of objects from bullets to planets. Many know that the same great mind invented calculus along the way toward his Principia Mathematica.

Hal Harris's picture

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

One part (but only one part) of the decline in science in the US is the growing minority of citizens who semiautomatically adopt positions antagonistic to those of the scientific consensus, regardless of the issue. The "scientific community" is not a monolith, and skepticism and dissent are essential to the process of science.