This Scientist Made Superhero Headlines. Why Doesn’t That Happen More Often?

Andrew Baker is the guy that rescues corals with his bare hands from the evils of industry. Yesterday’s most trending article on National Geographic News featured him doing just that. Of course, as a scientist myself, I know Andrew through his alter ego: a renowned scientist unlocking the secrets of coral adaptation. But for those following the news in summer 2014, Baker took a stand against wasteful coral destruction and became professor-turned-superhero. All sorts of local and national news outlets picked up the story.

“You spend 95 percent of your year doing note-worthy science. Does it bother you that all anyone wants to talk to you about is this one 10-day rescue mission?” I asked Baker as we chatted in his University of Miami office before co-hosting a National Geographic Learning Google+ Hangout event earlier this year (see video below).

“No, not really.” He chuckles. “That’s why we got into this business in the first place.”

Dozens of my science colleagues think like Andrew Baker. Conservation biologists, for the most part, are supremely passionate about the places and things they study. If a call comes in the middle of the night, the professional culture within conservation biology encourages —> Read More Here

Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy Leaves a Lasting Legacy

Leonard Nimoy with SETI astronomer Frank Drake on September 8, 1994. Seth Shostak, also from SETI, was the photographer. Image courtesy the Drake family.

Leonard Nimoy with SETI astronomer Frank Drake on September 8, 1994. Seth Shostak, also from SETI, was the photographer. Image courtesy the Drake family.

Leonard Nimoy played a half-alien-half-human character on Star Trek that gave his life to save his crew but was resurrected, survived having his brain removed, and was transported through time to seemingly live forever in the Star Trek universe. But the very human Nimoy died earlier today at age 83, leaving a legacy of not just an enduring science fiction character, but generations of scientists and explorers that he inspired.

Nimoy had been hospitalized earlier in the week and his agent confirmed his death on Friday, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year and attributed it to years of smoking, a habit he had quit nearly 30 years ago.

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Read the rest of Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy Leaves a Lasting Legacy (468 words)


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