Even the most cherished ideas in a given field are open to question. Much of his research is on rats, but he says the same basic principles apply to human memory as well. In fact, he says, it may be impossible for humans or any other animal to bring a memory to mind without altering it in some way.
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They assumed that current rates—of sediment deposition and of salt transport by rivers—were the same as historical rates, despite the evidence they had that our own age is one of atypically high geologic activity. The rock cycle, as we now know, is driven by plate tectonics, with sedimentary material vanishing into subduction zones. And the oceans have long since approached something close to a steady state, with chemical sediments removing dissolved minerals as fast as they arrive. In the 1660s Nicolas Steno formulated our modern concepts of deposition of horizontal strata. He inferred that where the layers are not horizontal, they must have been tilted since their deposition and noted that different strata contain different kinds of fossil. Robert Hooke, not long after, suggested that the fossil record would form the basis for a chronology that would “far antedate … This position came to be known as uniformitarianism, but within it we must distinguish between uniformity of natural law and the increasingly questionable assumptions of uniformity of process, uniformity of rate and uniformity of outcome.
For those of us who cherish our memories and like to think they are an accurate record of our history, the idea that memory is fundamentally malleable is more than a little disturbing. Not all researchers believe Nader has proved that the process of remembering itself can alter memories. It might even be possible to put the phenomenon to good use to reduce the suffering of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, who are plagued by recurring memories of events they wish they could put behind them. Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers should learn something of the way that policy is made and assessed – and the routes available to provide information and advice to the policy-makers. Newton’s Apple Foundation was established to help bridge this gap between the science community and the policy-making processes. Over the past four years, it has run workshops in universities, in Westminster and elsewhere to introduce early career researchers to the world of policy-making.
Trust in science down; trends worst in minorities, Republicans
“Each new comet measurement is giving us a different picture,” says Karen Meech, a planetary scientist at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. The Rosetta results show that even among a single family of comets, there is incredible diversity in water composition. “Comets formed over a huge range of distances, so it’s no surprise that there’s a huge range in D/H,” she says.
The 1.5C and 2C limits are regarded as having been breached when average global temperatures over a 20-year period are 1.5C or 2C higher than in pre-industrial times. Arctic amplification, which is strongest in the winter months, is caused by several factors. One is the retreat of sea ice, meaning more sunlight is absorbed by water instead of being reflected back into space. Another factor is less vertical mixing of air in the poles than in the tropics, which keeps warmer air close to the Earth’s surface. Have you ever dreamed of traveling through time, like characters do in science fiction movies? For centuries, the concept of time travel has captivated people’s imaginations.
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New ideas in physics often explain the fundamental mechanisms of other sciences, while opening to new research areas in mathematics and philosophy. Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science that study non-living systems, in contrast to the life sciences. However, the term “physical” creates an unintended, somewhat arbitrary distinction, since many branches of physical science also study biological phenomena. Their gravity is strong enough that they tend to kick asteroids and comets right out of the solar system. If Jupiter and Saturn didn’t exist, he notes, Earth’s gravity could have stolen 10 times as much water from the outer edge of the asteroid belt.
These include in industrial R&D and management, the civil service and even non-scientific roles in businesses and the professions. They should be helped to understand where science and technology fit into the life of the nation, and where they will find useful roles in which their knowledge and experience will be valued. There should be a widening of training and experience to fit them for roles outside mainstream research. They should be encouraged to see the relevance and political consequences of science and technology in general, and the relevance of their field of science in particular to national policy.
Earth science is an all-embracing term for the sciences related to the planet Earth. It is arguably a special case in planetary science, the Earth being the only known life-bearing planet.