The Kavli Foundation
NewsletterVol. 4, Issue 2 2011
Dedicated to the advancement of science for the benefit of humanity, The Kavli Foundation supports scientific research, honors scientific achievement, and promotes public understanding of scientists and their work. For more information, visit: www.kavlifoundation.org.
futuresSPECIAL FEATURE: COMMUNICATING SCIENCE


Three Winners of the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Discuss the Craft  

of Science Communications
 
In February, recipients of this year's AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award -- an internationally recognized measure of excellence in science communications -- were honored by their colleagues at a special ceremony in Washington D.C. 


Now, three of this year's award winners offer their insights into the craft of science writing and the state of science journalism. They also share their own perspectives about the roles scientists play for reporters and the similarities between journalism and science. Full story 

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Sarah Holt SARAH HOLT (NOVA) - Winner, Television, Spot Segment/Feature Reporting

 

Holt received her award for a NOVA scienceNow story on how researchers are uncovering the complex chemistry behind the way our brains store and retrieve memories. In a dialogue with The Kavli Foundation, Holt shares how the piece evolved, the way stories are developed for the PBS television series, and the challenge of bringing science to television.

 

Hillary RosnerHILLARY ROSNER (HIGH COUNTRY NEWS) - Winner, Small Newspaper

 

In a story called "One Tough Sucker," Rosner spotlights how the razorback sucker is at the heart of a turf war on the Colorado River between conservationists and sport-fishing advocates over management of fish species in the river -- and how without constant management, the razorback sucker is unlikely to survive. Rosner discusses the key role scientists played in bringing the story to her attention, as well as the difficulties in writing and publishing articles about the environment.  

 

Steve SilbermanSTEVE SILBERMAN (WIRED) - Winner, Magazine Writing

 

In his award-winning story, Silberman reveals the impact of placebos on the pharmaceutical business, and how researchers are trying to fully understand the power of these dummy pills and their real potential to affect human health. In a dialogue with the Foundation, Silberman discusses the genesis of the story, including the role scientists played to guide and define the piece. He also offers thoughts about the similarities between journalists and scientists.

 

Full story 

IN FOCUS

BrainfactsSociety for Neuroscience Announces "Brainfacts.org," An Authoritative Public Internet Resource about the Brain 

 

The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has been awarded funding over six years to create and maintain BrainFacts.org, a unique nonprofit online source for authoritative public information about the progress and promise of brain research.

 

With joint founding partners The Kavli Foundation and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, SfN will launch the Web site in late spring 2012 to communicate with the public, educators, and policymakers about revolutionary advances in understanding the brain and mind. Full story 

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An Interview with Susan G. Amara, President, Society for Neuroscience 

 
Susan Amara, President, Society for Neuroscience

Recently, Susan G. Amara, President, Society for Neuroscience, responded to questions about the anticipated site "Brainfacts.org," as well as how SfN's own efforts at public outreach have evolved since the Society's inception. "It is an exciting and critical time for the neuroscience community. We are on the cusp of revolutionary advances in science and I look forward to seeing the next 10 years of discovery. With BrainFacts.org, we now are on the cusp of major advances in how we communicate that emerging science, and serve the field in the process." Full story

Joanna Aizenberg Named a New Director of the Kavli Institute at Harvard University 

 

Joanna AizenbergBiomaterials pioneer Joanna Aizenberg has been named a new director of the Kavli Institute for Bionanoscience and Technology (KIBST) at Harvard University, starting July 1.

 

Aizenberg is the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Material Sciences at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), where she runs the Aizenberg Biomineralization and Biomimetics Lab. She is also a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology; the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University; and a core faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Full story 


SCIENCE NEWS

 

ASTROPHYSICS
Fermi's Large Area Telescope Spots 'Superflares' in the Crab Nebula 

Crab Nebula

 

The famous Crab Nebula supernova remnant has erupted in an enormous flare five times more powerful than any flare previously seen from the object. On April 12, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope first detected the outburst, which lasted six days.  

 

The nebula is the wreckage of an exploded star that emitted light which reached Earth in the year 1054. It is located 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. At the heart of an expanding gas cloud lies what is left of the original star's core, a superdense neutron star that spins 30 times a second. With each rotation, the star swings intense beams of radiation toward Earth, creating the pulsed emission characteristic of spinning neutron stars (also known as pulsars). Full story 

 

More Astrophysics News

NANOSCIENCE
Artificial Tissue Promotes Skin Growth
in Wounds


Tissue Scaffold

Top left, a tissue scaffold with pores visible. Clockwise, schematic diagrams showing cross-sections microstructured tissue templates. (Credit: Ying Zheng)

 

Victims of third-degree burns and other traumatic injuries endure pain, disfigurement, invasive surgeries and a long time waiting for skin to grow back. Improved tissue grafts designed by Cornell scientists that promote vascular growth could hasten healing, encourage healthy skin to invade the wounded area and reduce the need for surgeries.

 

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IN THIS ISSUE
Communicating Science: Conversations with Three AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Winners
Q&A with Susan G. Amara, President, Society for Neuroscience
Joanna Aizenberg Named a New Director of KIBST at Harvard University
Astrophysics News
Nanoscience News
Neuroscience & Theoretical Physics News
Noteworthy
SCIENCE NEWS (CONT.)

 

(Continued from below left)  

 

These so-called dermal templates were engineered in the lab of Abraham Stroock, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Cornell and member of the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science, in collaboration with Dr. Jason A. Spector, assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, and an interdisciplinary team of Ithaca and Weill scientists. The research was published online May 6 in the journal Biomaterials. Full story 

  

More Nanoscience News

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NEUROSCIENCE &  

THEORETICAL PHYSICS  

Edvard and May-Britt Moser

Edvard and May-Britt Moser Receive Louis- Jeantet Prize for Medicine


In a ceremony held in Geneva, Switzerland, NTNU neurobiologists and researchers Edvard and May-Britt Moser were presented the 2011 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for their pioneering work in the discovery of "grid cells" in the brain.  

 

The award recognizes the Mosers, director and co director of NTNU's Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, along with a German biologist, Stefan Jentsch, a director at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry.

 

The Mosers were selected for the 2011 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for their 2005 discovery of "grid cells," neurons that have a specific function in spatial representation. These cells enable mammals to know their precise spatial location and to move from one place to another. Full story  

 

More News

 

Noteworthy 

 

National Academy of Sciences.   Members of four Kavli Insttutes have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences: Michael Goldberg, member of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University; Paul McEuen, Director of the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science; Boris Shraiman, permanent member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC, Santa Barbara; and X. Sunney Xie, Kavli Institute for Bionano Science & Technology at Harvard University.

 

Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale. The Kavli Foundation will contribute additional endowment funds to diversify and strengthen the institute's interdisciplinary brain research. The new commitment will enable the Institute to expand its mission to embrace Yale research on the nervous system more broadly, drawing on the expertise of the nearly 100 neuroscientists working in 20 departments across the Yale campus.

Kavli Nanoscience Institute at California Institute of Technology. Founding KNI Board member Scott E. Fraser, Anna L. Rosen Professor of Biology and Professor of Bioengineering, has been elected to the 2011 American Academy of Arts and Sciences class of fellows. He is one of the 212 new members to join the AAAS. ... Member Guoan Zheng is the recipient of this year's $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Caltech Student Prize for his innovative development of an on-chip, inexpensive microscopy imaging technology with many potential applications, including improved diagnostics for malaria and other blood-borne diseases in the developing world.

 

Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University. KIBS Investigator Nate Sawtell was named a research fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which awards two-year, $50,000 grants to support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers.

 

The Kavli Foundation. Fred Kavli received the Franklin Institute's 2011 Bower Award for Business Leadership. The Franklin Institute is one of America's oldest and premier centers of science education and development in the country. Last year's recepient of the Bower Award was philanthropist and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. 

 

Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science. Director Paul McEuen has published his first novel, Spiral -- a thriller  Publisher's Weekly called "emotionally intense and thought-provoking novel," and The New York Times described as a "galloping read."