A weekly digest of science and environment news, originally published on Inside Philanthropy. This week, data science, fracking and the science behind self control.
I blog about the latest in funding for research, science education, and the environment, as science editor at the news site Inside Philanthropy. I post the occasional roundup of highlights from my coverage over there. Inside Philanthropy is a subscription-based site, but visitors get a few freebies. Here’s what happened in the past week.
Why Software Companies Are Giving Colleges a Fortune…in Software “…For starters, what they are giving away here is not stacks of crisp bills, but rather permission to use proprietary, pricey software and training materials. They are basically inviting the next generation to learn how to use their products at no charge, which many will then presumably go on to use in private sector settings…”
How Sloan’s Data Science Program is Trying to Make Sense of It All “Data science is showing potential to unpack some of the toughest problems in several fields of research. Cheaper and stronger sensors, storage, and computing means we have new power to make sense of all the information we’re collecting, almost constantly. Few funders are as focused on making it happen as the Alfred A. Sloan Foundation…”
Clean Up Guy: Heinz Turns to Old Friend After Fracking Fallout “…The trouble began with the launch of the Center for Sustainable Shale Development, of which Heinz was a founding partner, and which supports voluntary best practices for the shale gas drilling industry that’s exploded across the region. Other partners in the center—Shell and Chevron…”
Templeton Couldn’t Resist Granting $4.5 Million to Study Self-Control “…There’s always something of a tug-of-war between the two when it comes to questions like these, which were at one time considered mostly philosophical, but with relatively recent scientific advances have become major focuses of empirical study. ‘The Philosophy and Science of Self-Control’ will attempt to integrate the debate among philosophers with the controlled studies in fields like neuroscience and psychology.”
The Family Behind Walmart is Showering a Few Environmental Groups with Cash “…The windfall these groups have seen from the Walton family has not gone unnoticed, and has even drawn scorn from the environmental community. For example, CI and EDF both have corporate partnerships with Walmart, and while WFF is not company sponsored, they share leadership, namely the family itself…”
image by Flickr user Marius B.