Marcelo Gleiser

Marcelo Gleiser appears in the following:

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, ...


The Man Who Turned Life Into Magic

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I was shocked and saddened to read Oliver Sacks' New York Times op-ed last Thursday where he told of his terminal liver cancer from a previous, rare ocular melanoma. As of Wednesday evening, there were 808 comments from readers, all deeply touched by Oliver's humanity. He deserves no less.



Clinging To Timelessness In A Changing Cosmos

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We humans long for permanence, for some kind of lasting presence. Witness the closing lines of Shakespeare's famous "Sonnet 18":

"So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."

So much of our perplexity as we face ...


Should We Be Afraid Of Aliens?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In the long list of modern fears, bloodthirsty aliens may not rank near the top. We have more immediate worries, from terrorism and bioengineered (or not) global epidemics to nuclear holocaust and natural disasters.

However, the notion that other intelligences exist out there in the universe is pervasive in popular ...


Lessons From The Beginning Of Time

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The news came out last week that, after a painstaking data analysis involving two teams of scientists, the much-hyped detection of gravitational waves from the Big Bang — announced almost a year ago — was indeed a false alarm: The spiral-shaped distortions in the very fabric of space were ...


Is An Identical Copy Of You, You?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In the video below, Dr. Kenneth Hayworth, president and co-founder of the Brain Preservation Foundation, ponders the following possibility: Imagine that it would be possible to make an identical copy of yourself, including your memories and experiences. Is that copy of you, you? Meaning, if someone pointed a gun to ...


Was 2014 The Hottest Year On Record — Or Not?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Since the Jan. 16 release of findings by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) indicating that 2014 has been the hottest year on record, naysayers have criticized the report as being exaggerated and distorted.

According to the NASA data collected from more than 3,000 weather stations around ...


Capturing Changes In The Way We Connect

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

After reading a recent post of mine focusing on whether we should be living our lives, or capturing them, photographer Jacob F. Lucas got in touch. He recently put together a book called Commute Culture that addresses this same topic through pictures.

I decided to find out ...


As 2015 Begins, Some Ruminations On Science And Life

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Over the years, I've been collecting thought fragments and sentences that come to me during the day or in the course of my writing books and essays.

Since this is a time of introspection and self-analysis, I wanted to share some of them with the 13.7 readers — along with ...


Black Holes And Our Cosmic Future

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

With the movies Interstellar and The Theory of Everything out, black holes are in the news, exciting people's imagination.

Black holes bring up possibilities as crazy-sounding as time travel, tunnels through space called wormholes, even parallel universes. It's amazing that when I started my career in the 1980s, ...


Church Of England Names Its First Female Bishop

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Church of England has named its first female bishop.

The Rev. Libby Lane, who has been a parish priest for 20 years, will be consecrated on Jan. 26, becoming the first woman to hold that position since the church was founded five centuries ago.

"This is unexpected and very ...


Space, Time, Love And Stephen Hawking

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stephen Hawking is the world's most famous scientist. I can't think of another example of a scientist who has had so many headlines and, now, a biographic movie while still alive.

The Theory of Everything stars Eddie Redmayne as Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane, Hawking's first wife and ...


A Quest For The Unattainable Unification Of Knowledge

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

In his recent book, The Meaning of Human Existence, the celebrated evolutionary biologist, entomologist and essayist Edward Wilson sets off to chart a possible path toward the unification of the sciences and the humanities — taking off from his 1998 book Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. If we are ...


The Little Comet Probe That Could

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Even with all the drama — and now the prolonged silence, possibly permanent — the European Space Agency's (ESA) mission to land a fridge-sized probe on a comet zipping at about 80,000 miles per hour, some 300 million miles from Earth, was a resounding success. This first ever comet ...


The Science Of 'Interstellar'

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Every child must leave home one day — but rarely because he has destroyed his home.

This is the central predicament of Christopher Nolan's new epic movie, Interstellar. In the not too distant future, Earth is progressively headed toward becoming uninhabitable. A large fraction of the world's population has ...


Despite Disasters, Explore We Must

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The crash of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo over the Mojave Desert last Friday, killing co-pilot Michael Alsbury and seriously injuring pilot Peter Siebold, has renewed discussions on the value of commercial space exploration. Should we continue to do this at the unavoidable cost of human life? Is this simply a moneymaking ...