Marcelo Gleiser

Marcelo Gleiser appears in the following:

Pluto Encounter Is A Legacy Of Our Generation

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It finally happened. On Tuesday, the space probe New Horizons passed by a mere 7,800 miles from Pluto, the closest encounter ever with a world that is, on average, 3.7 billion miles from Earth.

It took nine years for the very fast probe to get there, something that our


The Brain's Remarkable Sculpting Of Memories

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

It is a remarkable fact that the brain, made of neurons and their connections to one another named synapses, is able to remember.

After all, if there is one thing we can say about our bodies and about nature, it's that change is everywhere. To remember is to go the ...


Designing Superhumans

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The age of genetic design is here.

It is now possible to edit genes of diverse organisms — almost like we edit a string of text — by cutting and pasting (splicing) genes at desired locations. A recent technology known as CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) allows ...


The Never-Learned Lesson In 'Jurassic World'

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's hard to have missed the explosive launching of Jurassic World, the new dinosaurs vs. humans bout in Steven Spielberg's venerable series. (This time he is executive producer, while Colin Trevorrow directs.) The movie made history already by being the highest grossing film ever in its first weekend, taking ...


After Long Slumber, Philae Says Hi To The World

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

In a technological feat that moved the world, last November the European Space Agency landed the small probe Philae on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which is cruising at some 100,000 miles per hour toward the sun. Excitement turned to high drama when the landing put the probe away from the ...


Neil Young Is Displeased That Donald Trump Was 'Rockin' In The Free World'

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he's running for president, the soundtrack at the Trump Tower event was Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," which was played loudly and repeatedly. But afterward, Young said Trump had used the song without permission — and that he's a Bernie Sanders ...


If You Don't Know You Are Held Captive, Does It Matter?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Last week, I held a class discussion on the issue of freedom. This was the closing lecture of my Dartmouth course "Question Reality!," an examination of the nature of physical reality and the limits of knowledge.

As a starting point, I asked the students to watch the classic movie


The High Price Of What We Eat

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

On World Water Day, March 22, I wrote here at 13.7 that water — particularly its scarcity — should be one of our top worries for the coming decades. We listed a website with many disturbing facts about water or lack thereof, across the globe.

On Sunday, The ...


Viewing A Universe In Flux

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The phenomenally successful Hubble Space Telescope turned 25 last month.

To celebrate the occasion, the Hubble team released a spectacular photo of a "stellar nursery," a region of space where huge amounts of gas and dust churn dramatically under gravity's never-resting arms to create new stars and, with them, new ...


Merging Global Values In A More Secular America

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We have an African-American president and may soon have a female president. But would Americans ever elect an atheist or agnostic president?

Perhaps in a decade or so.

A new Pew Research Center survey, dramatically titled "America's Changing Religious Landscape," has painted a somewhat surprising picture of the decline ...


Are We To Become Gods, The Destroyers Of Our World?

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

In the stylish new sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, Frankenstein's old theme re-emerges in a beautifully designed setting: Instead of the Gothic castle we have a spectacular estate in a vast mountainous wilderness, home of the recluse genius who wants to create the first true artificial intelligence.

As in Mary ...


Pope's Coming Statement On Global Warming Will Be Significant

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It is fitting that Pope Francis I, who chose his name from St. Francis of Assissi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, is preparing to publish an encyclical this summer on the effects of climate change on the poor, and the need to protect Earth and its environment.



'Planetary' Calls For A Global Vision Shift For Earthlings

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

As today is Earth Day, it may be that nothing is more appropriate than watching, here, at 13.7, a preview of the documentary Planetary.

Using footage from NASA, interviews and spectacular imagery from across the planet, the movie calls for a change in perspective — a new way ...


Einstein's Universe Turns 100

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One hundred years ago, a 36-year-old Albert Einstein presented the complete formulation of the General Theory of Relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Across the world, events and conferences will be celebrating what is considered, without hyperbole, the most beautiful of physical theories, marrying mathematics with physical concepts ...


What The 'God Of The Gaps' Teaches Us About Science

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

"God of the Gaps": When God is invoked to fill in the blanks in scientific knowledge. An old-fashioned and doomed theological approach, but one that is nevertheless very much alive in the minds of many.

In the General Scholium, a sort of epilogue to his monumental Mathematical Principles of Mathematical ...


Van Gogh's Turbulent Mind Captured Turbulence

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

This week marked Vincent van Gogh's 162nd birthday. The always-illuminating Maria Popova celebrated in her Brainpickings newsletter by bringing back studies linking van Gogh's celebrated 1889 painting The Starry Night -- where light and clouds flow in turbulent swirls on the night sky — with studies of turbulence in ...


Should You Trust That New Medical Study?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

News of medical studies fill the headlines and airwaves — often in blatant contradiction. We've all seen it: One week, coffee helps cure cancer; the next, it causes it.

From a consumer's perspective, the situation can be very confusing and potentially damaging — for example, in a case where someone ...


Take A Shorter Shower — It's World Water Day

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Even though water scarcity is probably among the top of our list of 21st century worries, few people stress about it unless directly lacking a safe source of ample water.

World Water Day — this year landing on Sunday, March 22 — aims to raise awareness, especially among those ...


Much Rests On The Enhanced Large Hadron Collider

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Get ready to look at the universe through a new window.

Later this month, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, the behemoth particle accelerator operated by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), will be back in action after a two-year hiatus. The pause was intentional, giving technicians and ...


Do Fairies Live In The Multiverse?

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

When I became a physicist, my dream was simple, even if ambitious: I wanted to understand nature, to build theories that would make predictions that would eventually be verified by experiments. I would then be like those heroes of physical science — Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Antoine Lavoisier, Niels Henrik, ...