Category Archives: Science

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Why Mars”


Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration. By W. Henry Lambright. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. Preface, introduction, conclusion, notes, index. Hardcover. Pp. ix – 320. USD $45.46. ISBN: 978-1-4214-1279-5. W. Henry Lambright’s Why Mars: NASA and the … Continue reading

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Announcing a Special Issue of “Astropolitics” on the Power of Analogies for Advancing Space Scientific Knowledge


I have just edited a special issue of Astropolitics: The International Journal of Space Politics & Policy 12:2-3 (2014) has just appeared. It is available on-line here. I must mention that a subscription to the journal is required, or access through a subscribing institution, to … Continue reading

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Considering the Moon


What is it about the Moon that captures the fancy of humankind? A silvery disk hanging in the night sky, it conjures up images of romance and magic. It has been counted upon to foreshadow important events, both of good … Continue reading

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Visions of Venus at the Dawn of the Space Age


As Earth’s “sister planet,” many have long speculated about the nature of Venus and the possibility of life existing there in some form. Through much of the nineteenth century observers harbored hopes that Venus might be a place  teeming with life. … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Beyond the God Particle”


Beyond the God Particle. By Leon Lederman and Christopher Hill. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2013. Acknowledgments, appendix, notes, index. Pp. 9 – 325. ISBN: 978-1-61614-801-0. Hardcover with dustjacket, $24.95 USD. It was hard to miss the story about finding the … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Faith, Science, and Understanding”


Faith, Science, and Understanding. By John Polkinghorne. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. This book is a collection of lectures and essays pieced together to explore the themes exemplified in the title. At sum, each essay considers the relationship … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Beginnings of the NASA Space Science Program


When Congress established NASA in 1958 it explicitly charged the new space agency with “the expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space.” In fulfillment of that mandateNASA created the Office of Space Sciences and installed as … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Empire and Science in the Making”


Empire and Science in the Making: Dutch Colonial Scholarship in Comparative Global Perspective, 1760-1830. Edited by Peter Boomgaard. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. As co-editor of the series, Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology, my comments will … Continue reading

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The Surveyor Landers on the Moon


Like so many other point of intersection, soft landing on the Moon with robotic probes proved a venue for Cold War competition between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The Soviets won that competition February 3, … Continue reading

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Homer Newell and the Early Post-War Space Science Program


Homer E. Newell (1915-1983) is one of the NASA leaders I am profiling in a book I have underway. His career was remarkable. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and served as a theoretical … Continue reading

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