Have a love of the sciences that goes way beyond Chemistry Cat's latest puns? Your mind's mastered the atomic weight of noble gases and have an affection for Helium (He He), so time to get your house and self decorated to the 118s with gear worthy of their place on the periodic table of elements. Read on for gear outfitted with the chemist's best friend: the periodic table of elements.
Student scientists are taking over the White House today for the third annual White House Science Fair, and if it's anything like last year's marshmallow cannon spectacular, we're in for some incredible displays of scientific excellence from the country's future STEM leaders.
This year, projects include a watercolor painting robot, algae as biofuel, and a 3D-printed robotic arm. These aren't your average homemade volcano experiments. Watch live coverage from the event as Bill Nye and LeVar Burton interview entrants about their projects.
In fact, the day's technology focus even prompted the White House to join in on the looping video sensation, Vine, with its first upload being an ode to science that you can watch after the jump.
Time magazine unveiled its annual list of the most influential people in the world, and while it's full of household names from political figures like President Barack Obama to entertainment mogul Jay-Z and celebrated writer-director-actress Lena Dunham, female leaders in science and technology also made the cut among the "artists and leaders . . . pioneers, titans and icons."
Familiar tech faces Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, are listed as pioneers and titans, respectively. Both are powerful leaders in Silicon Valley, with the Yahoo chief leading the company back to its former tech glory, and with her new book, Lean In, Sheryl is reexamining gender politics in the workplace as they relate to keeping women from balancing the career success and family home life.
The C-suite isn't the only representation of women in the sciences, though; read on to learn about women revolutionizing education, helping to eradicate AIDS and breast cancer, and connecting remote locations to the power of the web.
Julie Yu, a staff scientist at San Francisco's Exploratorium, the newest science museum on the block, really loves what she does. It's easy to see why: "On my first day of work, I was told to have fun every day and make sure I have time to play." Doesn't sound like your typical lab-coat-wearing, microscope-peeking depiction of a scientist, does it?
"It's a joy [working in this field]. There are always more questions to ask, and each day is never the same," said Julie, whose main responsibility at the Exploratorium is to help science teachers around the country bring hands-on experimentation into the classroom, using as little money and resources as possible.
You don't need fancy machinery to conduct your own experiment, though. Exploring what's already around you is what Julie says is one of the keys to science success. The Brown University-trained engineer had a brief teaching career at the Tech Museum in San Jose before receiving a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley.
We spoke to Julie and asked her a question on the minds of every aspiring biologist, chemist, or physicist: what does it take to become a super-rad scientist?
In honor of Julie's passion for kitchen chemistry — which is what first piqued her interest in the subject — we present her three-ingredient recipe for science success.
The Exploratorium, an experimental museum/learning lab in San Francisco, got a new 330,000-square-foot waterfront home on Pier 15, and we got a sneak peak of the science center before its official grand opening on April 17. The museum focuses on five areas: senses and perception, human behavior, living systems, "tinkering" with tools, and — thanks to its new campus situated right by the bay — outdoor environments.
From gigantic 300-year-old trees to perception-distorting tubes and pixels, the Exploratorium wows with science. There are mind-blowing exhibits galore (the Exploratorium has over 600!), but we're looking forward to returning to the museum for seven art-meets-science projects in particular. Check out the eye-opening experiments you absolutely must get your hands on when you visit the Exploratorium, and preview the new indoor/outdoor space that'll have you marking San Francisco as your next geek destination.
Britain's first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died at the age of 87. Many knew Margaret, dubbed "The Iron Lady" for her steadfastness, as a skilled politician and dedicated conservative — but the UK's longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century actually got her career start in science.
Margaret graduated from Oxford with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry after completing a dissertation on X-ray crystallography (mapping the chemical bonds and positions of atoms in a crystal) of gramicidin, an antibiotic.
The influence of science on the former female PM was significant. She was mentored by pioneering women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) early on. Dorothy Hodgkin, a Nobel Prize winner for her groundbreaking work with penicillin, was Margaret's dissertation advisor during her years at Oxford.
Later on, despite her views as a staunch financial conservative, Margaret gave a surprising speech in 1989 before the United Nations calling for a "vast international, co-operative effort" to reduce greenhouse gases and fund green energy research.
There's no doubt that Margaret Thatcher was a strong-willed woman with many words of wisdom. Whether or not you agree with her politics, it is hard to deny that Margaret Thatcher was a trailblazer in many ways: first, as a chemist in the '50s, a time when many other women were relegated to housework, and then as Britain's highest ranking official.
What do biology, oceanography, and astronomy have in common? They're all fields of study under investigation by rad scientists! And they're also the subjects of beautifully illustrated posters by the Brainstorm Print Shop, a two-person design studio spearheaded by Jason Snyder and Briana Feola.
Jason and Briana set out to create art to "charm, humor, and educate" — and that's certainly what these science prints do. From whimsical cell diagrams to a mod, minimalist cross section of the Earth's atmosphere, you'll love all of these nods to science for your home.
Scientists are knowledge-seeking, fun-loving adventurers who have had a public image problem for far too long, and This Is What a Scientist Looks Like is a Tumblr dedicated to changing that stereotype once and for all.
The Tumblr, run by writer Allie Wilkinson, features experts of the natural, physical, and formal sciences who represent all walks of life. Follow the posts and you'll see: science professionals don't have wild, disheveled hair (that was just Einstein) and most don't even own a lab coat.
Take Michael Ferguson Frick, there on the left. The professor of herpetology (study of reptiles) at the Philadelphia Natural History Museum also happens to be a big fan of motorcycles.
And, on the right, there's Kate, a postdoctoral scholar who uses geochemistry to determine what the climate was like way back when (uh, you rock Kate) and likes "hiking and good beer" as much as the next person.
Meet other Michaels and Kates changing the stereotype that scientists only work behind closed doors at lookslikescience.tumblr.com. If you're a scientist or science student who refuses to be pigeonholed, be sure to submit your name, photo, and bio to the site.
For even more shareable science finds, follow our geek stereotype-defying efforts at POPSUGAR Tech on Tumblr.
The careful line-drawing and stippling techniques of science illustration make them a natural starting point for incredible tattoos. Students and admirers of the sciences are flying their geek flags high with skin art of meaningful molecules, anatomical drawings, and space exploration's most historic events. So in the name of science, we've rounded up some of the best body ink inspired by chemistry, space, and the natural sciences.
It's too bad that the best kind of element — the element of surprise — isn't charted on the periodic table. Gift the science geek in your life when he or she least expects it with clever (and practical!) presents saluting the natural and physical sciences.
From a Marie Curie bobblehead that glows in the dark, naturally, to a cocktail chemistry mixology set, we've got everything you'll need to make the mad scientists on your holiday shopping list smile (or better yet, "muahaha").