School of Science Research Initiatives
MIT to Create New Climate Initiative Devoted to Climate Science
The recent “climategate” events and the ensuing scandal have cast an unflattering light on climate science, calling into question whether it is being carried out in the rigorous, high-quality manner that scientists and the public have every right to demand. In response to these developments, climate scientists at MIT, Professor Kerry Emanuel and Professor Daniel Rothman, are proposing a new way forward that, if successful, could alter the culture of climate science and help train the new generation of climate scientists exceptionally well-equipped to tackle the hard problem of understanding the climate system.
This climate think tank proposed to be named the Lorenz Center, in honor of their late colleague Edward N. Lorenz, would drive right at the fundamental scientific questions, unencumbered by the now-dominant culture of the field in which research is overwhelmingly focused on the elaborate modeling and prediction. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists would be financially supported to allow them the time and freedom to pursue their ideas, however unconventional.
Find out more about how the School of Science proposes a fresh approach to climate science.
How Cancer Begins
If you’re worried about getting cancer, do yourself a favor: steer clear of red meat and rich foods, and avoid cigarettes. In this lecture, Robert Weinberg provides the scientific basis for this commonplace advice, as well as a layman’s look at the genetic, biochemical and environmental factors that make good cells go bad.
Normal cells are civic-minded, lining up together in a precise architecture that gives structure to body tissue. When the cell’s genes are damaged, they send out faulty instructions, turning orderly structure into a chaotic mess. This kind of injury to cells likely comes from the outside – as many as 90% of human cancers are due to bad diets and smoking. Weinberg wants to understand the specific pathways by which the cells’ enemies invade and do their damage, in hopes of then being able to halt the process and freeze a cancer’s growth. But, cautions Weinberg, better to count on prevention than a cure in the fight against cancer.
View the lecture by Robert A. Weinberg, Founding Member, MIT Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research; Member, Whitehead Institute; Daniel K. Ludwig and American Cancer Society Professor for Cancer Research, Department of Biology [http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/151/]
Find out more about how MIT and the MIT Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research (KCICR) are reinventing cancer research at MIT.
MIT Tackles The Energy Problem
The MIT Energy Initiative ( MITEI) was launched by MIT President Susan Hockfield in May 2005 to mobilize the capabilities and experience of the Institute. In her inaugural address, Hockfield noted, "[It is] our institutional responsibility to address the challenges of energy and the environment....Tackling the problems that energy and the environment present will require contributions from all our departments and schools...bringing scientists, engineers and social scientists together to envision the best energy policies for the future."
MITEI is now an Institute-wide initiative designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the needs of the future and to help build a bridge to that future by improving today's energy systems.
The MITEI program includes research, education, campus energy management and outreach activities that cover all areas of energy supply and demand, security and environmental impact.