Brian Handwerk

Watch the Ig Nobels Live as Scientists Honor Bizarre and Funny Research

What do studies on smart slime mold, whale snot, tequila diamonds, fruit bat fellatio, and how cursing kills pain have in common? They’ve all been honored with past Ig Nobel prizes, given annually to real research “that first makes people laugh, and then makes them think.” (View our coverage of past winners.) This year’s raucous…

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Rio+20 Aimed for “Sustainable Energy for All”

  The UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative aims to drive economic development, improve living conditions, and protect the planet by meeting growing energy demands with renewable, environmentally responsible sources. Will Rio+20 be someday seen as the launchpad for these accomplishments or simply another missed opportunity? UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon touted the new program at…

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Nepal’s Mountain Villages Tap the Power of “Eternal Snows” With Micro-hydro

  Nepal’s soaring, snowy mountain peaks are a source of awe. They’re also a source of clean, life-altering power to the people who live in their shadows. The small Himalayan nation is promoting micro-hydro plants at the village level to produce renewable electricity, and green jobs, for citizens living far off the country’s limited power…

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Women Workers Tap the Sun to Light Up Homes in Rural Bangladesh

  In the developing world green jobs can have a double-barreled impact; providing work and wages while tapping renewable energy technology to deliver “developed nation” services to people who desperately need them. These twin benefits are converging in Bangladesh, where female entrepreneurs are gaining economic independence as solar power contractors and providing life-changing electricity to…

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Spy Satellites, Google Earth Now Guarding World’s Great Ancient Sites

Conservationists are using spy satellites, cutting-edge computer technology, and an expert human network to build an “early warning system” for some of the planet’s greatest—and most threatened—archaeological sites. “What we’re trying to do is really bring the world’s archaeologists, conservators, historians, and other experts together and help them organize and help manage these sites of…

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Changing Climate a Hot Topic Among Himalayan Villagers, Study Finds

Warmer temperatures, variable monsoons, and other signs of climate change are a hot topic of conversation among many Himalayan villagers, according to scientific sampling of climate change perception among local peoples. “This area is cold and it’s often raining. Even during the non-monsoon times there is mist and fog so inevitably conversations here turn to…

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Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

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