Clinical Trials: The Road to New Therapies
Last fall, our team of scientists started brainstorming topics to tackle in our 2020 Speaker Series on issues at the intersection of science and society. In partnership with ethicists Holly Fernandez Lynch and Steven Joffe at the University of Pennsylvania, we decided to explore the process of developing new drugs and therapies through clinical trials.
Coronavirus Update: Prepare, Don’t Panic
Update 8.5.20: In light of newer evidence demonstrating that infected people can spread the virus even before showing symptoms, it's important for everyone to wear face masks to protect each other. Social distancing measures, implemented in Philadelphia in mid-March, have been essential for slowing the spread of the virus and saving lives while new vaccines and treatments are developed.
The Legacy of the Spitzer Space Telescope
Space telescopes are earth-orbiting telescopes that augment work done by ground-based instruments. Because of their location outside Earth's atmosphere, space telescopes can collect data from electromagnetic sources like heat, x-rays and gamma rays, which are altered when they pass through our atmosphere.
SARS-CoV-2: Still More Questions than Answers
Update: On February 11, The World Health Organization announced that the official name of the disease caused by the coronavirus is COVID-19, combining “coronavirus,” “disease,” and 2019–the year the virus emerged. The current reference name for the virus itself is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Adventures with a Seeing Eye® Puppy
For those of you that visit the Franklin Institute on a regular basis, I am one of the many Volunteer Science Presenters that you will meet and talk with.
Astronomy with a Flashlight
Want to know the astronomy behind why it’s cold at this time of year? Logically, it must be because Earth is farther from the sun, right? Nope! Actually we’re now closer to the sun in our orbit now than at any other time of year. So why is it cold? Grab your flashlight and let’s find out!
Let’s talk about the northern hemisphere first.
Most of us dread the first day of winter. We think of it as the shortest day, the cold day, the dark day. But the first day of winter (aka the winter solstice) actually is the gateway to Spring and has an astronomical connection. In fact, it’s all about the astronomy! Here’s how.
Exoplanet Name Contest Winners Announced
On December 17, 2019, the International Astronomical Union announced results for the Name Exoworlds contest for each participating country. We are pleased to announce the winning name pair for the US star and exoplanet system HD17156.
Nushagak is a regional river near Dillingham, Alaska, which is famous for its wild salmon that sustain local indigenous communities.
Derrick Pitts's Tips for Telescope Buyers
Interested in buying a telescope? Making the right purchase need not be a daunting task if you're armed with a few simple guidelines. There are several different types of telescopes on the market and the first place to start in choosing one is to decide what you want to do and how much you want to spend.
Refreshing and Upgrading Our Giant Heart Exhibit
The Giant Heart exhibit will be temporarily closed from November 4 through 15, reopening on November 16. Keep reading to find out what’s in store!
Fear and Your Brain
It’s a dark and stormy night. Boom! You hear a loud crash. You see a flash of movement. The fear sets in. Your brain has jumped into alert mode.
Fear is an essential function of the brain. Throughout human evolutionary history, fear has kept us alive. How does it work? A cascade of reactions in your brain and body helps you prepare for danger. Sensory information—like what you see and hear around you—first zips straight to a part of your brain called your thalamus. The data then branches off into two different routes.
Tesla's Dream: An Interview
Last year, for the 2018 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, you wrote, produced, and starred in The William Penn Story, an original musical about Philadelphia’s founding father. Audiences loved it and the show received several glowing reviews. This year you have once again co-created and are presenting a brand new play about an innovative, pioneering, humanitarian, Nikola Tesla. That seems like a lot of work! How do you do it?
Sci-Chella: Music + Art + Science
When most people hear ‘Music Festival’ the first thing that comes to mind is probably not SCIENCE. You might think crowds, gross bathrooms, a bunch of music acts they have never heard about, warm drinks, and people in flower crowns. And while frequent festival-goers will likely confirm that the aforementioned list is very typical, the greater experience is that it's a giant experimental playground. In recent years many scientists and educational organizations are injecting themselves into the music festival equation. They recognize that the festival audience tends to embrace alternative
What Does Sustainability Mean to You?
Last week forty Philadelphia-area teachers gathered to explore this question in depth at The Franklin Institute’s second annual sustainability and climate change teacher training. Led by TFI’s Curriculum Developer Rachel Castro-Diephouse and Environmental Scientist Dr. Rachel Valletta, this three-day event examined how teaching for sustainability can be a solution to one of the world’s most pressing problems: climate change.
You Can Name An Exoplanet!
Greetings Astro-enthusiasts! The International Astronomical Union (IAU) invites you to help name an exoplanet and its star.
The Future of Space Exploration
What an exciting time it was. Fifty years ago, in July 1969, three American astronauts accomplished what the entire world would experience as the most daring expedition ever attempted by humans, a round trip journey to the moon. As a 14-year old with a deep interest in anything related to space exploration, for me every step of the newly emerging space program brought a rising level of excitement and anticipation. New giant rockets, the most complex machines ever designed, were being built to lift astronauts to the moon.
The Solar Eclipse in Chile and Argentina
Today a total solar eclipse draws a narrow path of lunar shadow across the South Pacific Ocean heading towards South America starting at 12:55pm Eastern time. The eclipse crosses Chile, then Argentina around 3:20pm and ends off the coast of Argentina in the Atlantic Ocean at sunset. The eclipse is only visible within the 125-mile wide path.
Science can be a 'Drag'
For our first ever Pride edition of Science After Hours, I wanted to look at ways to showcase the amazing potential that comes when people work together and collaborate on something amazing. So I thought of pairing 3 of the museums amazing Science Interpreters with 3 local Drag Queens to create 3 unique experiences for our guests that night. But how do you pair off 6 larger than life personalities, each with a passion for flare and expressing themselves…well like it’s a dating profile.
'MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes' - Every Fan's Dream
The verdict is in! Our 'MARVEL: Universe of Super Heroes' exhibit is an extraordinary trip through the beloved Universe.
I finally got to visit @TheFranklin’s Marvel Exhibit and it was awesome!! Full of cool artifacts from original comics to the actual costumes from the MCU. Definitely planning on going back!! pic.twitter.com/ZoC5HELUpE
Making a Scientific Illustration
The process of creating scientific artwork differs depending on the project, the subject matter, and the media used, but the first step always begins with an idea and lots of research into the science of the subject. What truly makes the piece is the information behind it, and the scientific illustrator has the unique position of translating the scientific concept into a visually appealing presentation and artwork.
How to Fit a Dinosaur In a Freight Elevator
I often get the impression people think traveling exhibits just appear, or are as simple to set up as an inflatable bouncy castle. “Are you building Marvel?” someone asked me the day after Vikings closed. “Not yet, we have to get rid of Vikings first!”
Why We Need Scientific Illustration
If you haven’t read the first blog post, “Scientific Illustration: What is it?” go check it out to learn more!
Now that you know what scientific illustration is, you might wonder why it is so important. We have cameras that can instantly take photographs, so why do we need illustration?