New ways scientists can help put science back into popular culture

How often do you, outside the requirements of an assignment, ponder things like the workings of a distant star, the innards of your phone camera, or the number and layout of petals on a flower? Maybe a little bit, maybe never. Too often, people regard science as sitting outside the general culture: A specialized, difficult...

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The Force of biology is strong in 'Star Wars'

Star Wars: The Last Jedi follows the journey of Rey as the heroine discovers and learns about the Force, just as her teacher Luke Skywalker and his father Anakin did in the Galactic Rebellion and Clone Wars (more on this later). This raises an obvious question: What is the Force and where does it come...

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What the robots of 'Star Wars' tell us about automation, and the future of human work

Millions of fans all over the world are eagerly anticipating this week’s release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth in the series. At last we will get some answers to questions that have been vexing us since 2015’s The Force Awakens. Throughout the franchise, the core characters have been accompanied by a number...

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Star Wars' last Jedi may use the Force of quantum science

As Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theatres and its heroine Rey seeks to learn the ways of the Force from an aged and isolated Luke Skywalker, it raises some obvious and ongoing questions: Is there anything in science — particularly in quantum physics — that resembles the Force? Can objects be manipulated instantaneously...

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Staying warm with a box of radiation on 'The Martian'

In the 2015 science fiction film, The Martian, NASA astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) finds himself stranded on Mars after being struck by debris during a forced evacuation. Left for dead, the intrepid astronaut must not only survive on the barren planet, he needs to find a way home. Mark must use every resource at...

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