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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Posts tagged science translation

  • There's No Such Thing as a Free Sample

    | January 27, 2018 | Filed under: Opinion

    If I just tallied the birds at the feeder outside my kitchen window, I might come to believe that the only bird in Maine is a rather fat and feisty cardinal. But that's not science.

  • An Ode to Pi

    | March 14, 2015 | Filed under: Opinion

    Perfectly reliable and yet completely unknowable, pi is one of those great Absolute Truths that seem to only exist in mathematics. It’s one of only a few beautiful round pearls buried in the sands of space and time. How can you not love it, even envy it a little?

  • Dr. Randy Olson Knows Something You Don't [Yet]

    | March 8, 2015

    #scicommTwo scientists AND their chief salesman want to better communicate coastal science and our changing world, BUT they need some help. THEREFORE, they sought out a guru.


    Science is great at figuring out our complex world, and figuring out our complex world is really helpful. But scientists are really not great at communicating their findings. It’s a fundamental weakness in the entire endeavor. Scientists don’t tell good enough stories. Therefore, Dr. Randy Olson, a “reformed" scientist turned filmmaker turned science communications guru, is offering a solution.

  • Shots First, Ask Questions Later

    | February 7, 2015


    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 2/8/2015.

    In America, enshrined in our First Amendment, we have a right to voicing our own opinions. But ever since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, I’ve been thinking about whether free speech does have limits. If what I say ends up hurting others, or even myself, I may have a right to say it… but should I?

  • The Great Thing About Science Is...

    | January 15, 2015 | Filed under: Opinion

    It is NOT about easy answers, shortcuts, or even a-ha revelations. Why on earth is that great?

  • My Favorite Science and Nature Stories of 2014

    | December 26, 2014

    The Strummer snail

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 12/28/2014.

    I sat in the tire shop the day before Christmas, waiting for the technician to switch my summer tires for winter ones, and scrutinized my fingers. I’d recently read an article about new biological research that pointed to a possible explanation for one of the great mysteries that has bedeviled mankind for millennia: why DO our fingers get wrinkly in the bath?

  • Wells National Paranormal Research Reserve?

    | October 31, 2014


    On September 26, 2013, the Wells Reserve invited a team of ghosthunters from New Hampshire, the Seeking the Unknown Realm Society, to spend a dark and eerie night poking through the basements, barns, attics and outbuildings of the Wells Reserve.

    Accompanied by [skeptical] Reserve educators Suzanne Kahn, Kate Reichert, and Caretaker Ed, the ghosthunters deployed their electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors, infrared cameras, and flickery flashlights across "old Laudholm Farm."

    What they found surprised and shocked them.

  • Believe It or Not

    | May 4, 2014 | Filed under: Opinion

    I get to meet many scientists. While it’s hard to understand them sometimes, they are all very decent (and underpaid) people. And they are all as astounded as I am that more than half the country does not believe them when they say climate change is real, that it is happening, and that it is man-made.

  • The World Is Not Flat

    | October 18, 2013

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 10/20/13:

    So, what do you believe?

    Quick quiz: which of the following have the backing of “scientific consensus”? Violent video games make kids more violent. Sugar makes them more hyper. Carbs make us fat. Vaccines are linked to autism.

    Answer: none of the above. Science says so; look them up.

    The bigger question: do we trust science?

  • Using social science research to facilitate science translation

    | March 10, 2010

    The Coastal Training Program uses social science research to facilitate the translation of science to communities dealing with complex land use and water quality protection issues. The need for social science research is linked to the conflict frequently associated with balancing multiple perspectives about the connections between land use and clean water. Understanding the cultural roots of conflict can be the first step to overcoming barriers to progress on environmental issues.