The point (of subsidies) is not to make energy more expensive… The point is to make renewable energy as inexpensive as possible.”
Steven Chu, Department of Energy, USA Today, May 16, 2012.
“It’s a law that you wear your seatbelt. Now you may choose to break that law, and not wear your seatbelt, but there are laws that you cannot break, and those are the laws of physics. So if you choose to not wear your seatbelt, and you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident, then the laws of physics may break you in return.”
E. Dan Dahlberg, University of Minnesota, CBS Minnesota, May 21, 2012.
“We predicted and discovered dark energy… We have the biggest dark-energy community and the best ground game; we have been designing a space mission since 1998; and now the Europeans will fly it with our minor participation. Something is wrong with this picture.”
Michael Turner, University of Chicago, on budget cuts limiting US participation in the Euclid satellite, The New York Times, May 21, 2012.
“The danger, of course, is that we will watch the science (and scientists–and good students) move on to other countries and continents, where projects are being begun and completed.”
Saul Perlmutter, University of California, Berkeley, on budget cuts limiting US participation in the Euclid satellite, The New York Times, May 21, 2012.
“The NRC’s failure to protect the public existed long before Gregory Jaczko became the NRC chairman…Congress should not be sidetracked into thinking he is the source of the problem or that his removal would be the solution.”
Lisbeth Gronlund, the Union of Concerned Scientists, on the resignation of the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, The Christian Science Monitor, May 21, 2012.
“I’m an outlier in the naiveté quotient as well as IQ, I buy that… There were, of course, warning signs that most people would have viewed with great suspicion, and this diagnosis as a defense explains the foolishness…But I certainly had no idea there were illegal drugs and certainly had no idea of smuggling drugs to make money,”
Paul Frampton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on being arrested in Argentina for possessing drugs, which he claims he was tricked into carrying for someone else, The Charlotte Observer, June 14, 2012.
“This story seems rather suspicious… None of the news reports give any details of the calculation. None of the people who hailed Shouryya Ray as a genius are scientists, and none of them give the impression that they have seen the calculation in question. It is impossible to gauge the scientific merit of the calculation until it is made public.”
Richard Fitzpatrick, University of Texas at Austin, on news reports that a 16-year-old reportedly solved a missing piece of Newtonian mechanics, MSNBC.com, May 28, 2012.
“This year, 2012, is going to be a very significant year because we get to turn the ... detector on and know very soon whether we have actually found dark matter or not.”
Richard Gaitskell, Brown University, on the Large Underground Xenon Experiment, The Associated Press, May 30, 2012.
“When we’re in college, we think about our future as a direct line from now to then, from here to there. You might get an internship at a financial services firm, then become an assistant, and gradually move up until someday you’re the boss. That’s a fine life’s path. But if you look at the careers of many successful people, you’ll find that their route is often far more sinuous. And if you look at happy people, you’ll find even fewer who traveled a straight line.”
Leonard Mlodinow, Caltech, The New York Times, June 2, 2012.
“The story captured the public imagination, and has given people the opportunity to see the scientific method in action–an unexpected result was put up for scrutiny, thoroughly investigated and resolved in part thanks to collaboration between normally competing experiments… That’s how science moves forward.”
Sergio Bertolucci, CERN, announcing that neutrinos do not in fact travel faster than the speed of light, MSNBC.com, June 6, 2012.
“Just as a violin or guitar string will emit harmonics of its fundamental sound tone when plucked strongly, an atom can also emit harmonics of light when plucked violently by a laser pulse… The laser pulse first plucks electrons from the atoms, before driving them back again where they can collide with atoms from which they came. Any excess energy is emitted as high-energy ultraviolet photons.”
Margaret Murnane, University of Colorado-Boulder, on the world’s first table-top X-ray laser, The Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2012.
“I did get a sweatshirt from Marvel and a bottle of wine from Ridley Scott.”
Sean Carroll, Caltech, on compensation he’s gotten from movie studios for being a science consultant on motion picture, The Washington Post, June 8, 2012.
“It’s a very exciting mission… It opens up a new window on the universe.”
Roger Blandford, Stanford University, about the launch of the satellite NuSTAR which will hunt for black holes, The Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2012.
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Editor: Alan Chodos