With so much controversy surrounding complicated subjects like stem cells and evolution, understanding science has become more important than ever. In September, the National Academies—which include the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council—singled out the best science communicators of the year. Two of the three who received the 2005 Communications Awards were John M. Barry ’68 and Gareth Cook ’91. Barry, who was featured in the November/December 2004 BAM, won for his book about the causes and ramifications of the 1918 influenza epidemic, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. Cook, who was featured in this year’s May/June BAM, was recognized for his reporting at the Boston Globe on the science and the social impacts of stem cell research. Barry and Cook each received a $20,000 prize.
Recess Is Over
Last year the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a plea by Michael Newdow ’74 on behalf of his daughter that the court ban the compulsory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools (see “Mr. Newdow Goes to Washington,” May/June 2004 BAM). Newdow argued that the phrase “under God” made reciting the pledge an expression of religious belief. Instead of ruling on the merits of the case, the court determined that Newdow, who does not have custody of his daughter, could not act on her behalf. Newdow found two sympathetic families, refiled the case, and in September the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled in their favor. A lawyer for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which opposes Newdow, told the New York Times that he wouldn’t be surprised if the case again goes all the way to the Supreme Court.
No wonder Popular Science named the Miracle of Science bar and grill a “top nerd bar” last year. Located near MIT in Cambridge, Mass., the Miracle of Science, which Chris Lutes Jr. ‘83 opened with a partner in 1991, features tabletops made of the same black fireslate found in chemistry labs and a chalkboard menu designed to resemble the periodic table. “It’s a lot less stuffy than a lot of other places you can eat at in Cambridge,” one patron told the Boston Business Journal in September.
The Food Network has made stars out of Emeril Lagasse and Rachael Ray. Could Warren Brown ’93 be next? Foodies this fall may have noticed Brown, whose cake-and-pastry business was featured in the September/October 2004 BAM, starring in his own Food Network Series, Sugar Rush, which premiered in October. In the series, Brown travels to restaurants and bakeries around America in search of recipes for chocolate desserts and pastries. “Whenever we do specials about pastries,” Kathleen Finch, the Network’s senior vice president for prime-time programming, noted on the company’s Web site, “our ratings go up.”