• Harvard professor argues ecologists have been ignoring a vital dimension — time

    by
    Scope Correspondent
    Flowers blossom, leaves turn, and migratory birds head south based on shifting temperatures. As the Earth’s climate changes, these natural schedules are changing fast. This is a real issue for researchers, argues Harvard University ecologist Elizabeth Wolkovich, because it turns the once-dependable marker of time into a variable that must been taken into account — and ecologists don’t have the tools to do that.
  • Dino-killing asteroid damaged deep-sea life with land plants

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    Scope Correspondent
    Once you go down 3,000 feet, the ocean becomes pitch black, a harsh environment for only the toughest marine creatures. At the end of the Cretaceous period, though, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs tried to wreak havoc at this depth off the coast of Haiti with unconventional weapons: land grasses and trees.
  • Books, Boxes, and Bananas: A Peek at the MIT Science Fiction Society

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    Scope Correspondent
    It is a Tuesday night, and on the quiet fourth floor of MIT’s otherwise bustling Stratton Student center, the MIT Science Fiction Society (MITSFS) is holding open hours.  A narrow doorway separates airy, institutional hallways from the colorful world of room W20-473, which is lined from ceiling to floor with books.
  • Swamps and Soliloquies

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    Scope Correspondent
    In the backyard of my childhood home, there was a swamp, a mud kingdom of sorts. For hours each afternoon, we played hide-and-seek behind the ferns and skunk cabbage. Some days we crossed the wooden bridge to my parent’s garden to pick raspberries, blackberries, peaches, whatever the neighborhood kids hadn’t yet stolen. We walked through the creek that marked the border between towns, muddying our overalls.
  • Empathy: A Vestigial Organ?

    by
    Scope Correspondent
    He held me as an infant, small enough to fit between the crook of his elbow and the tips of his fingers, and squeezed my leg as I wailed, not shifting his position, unable to figure out that he was applying pressure directly where I had just had my vaccinations. After a middle school orchestra concert, he asked if I thought I had played well enough to deserve a cookie at the reception. I was mortified, and another child’s mother was visibly shocked. “It was a joke,” he said later in the car. “You don’t understand my humor.”

Meet Sarah Schwartz

Sarah spent her childhood getting lost in redwoods and stories, collecting wood sorrel and novels, and learning how to identify constellations and split infinitives. Dreading that someday she would have to make a career decision between the sciences or writing, she studied both fields at the University of California, San Diego, where she earned her B.S. in Environmental Systems while taking Revelle College’s rigorous Humanities series and as many writing courses as possible. So far, she’s explored MIT’s Science Fiction library, and quantum mechanics.