Making sense of science

Newsletter November 2017

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This month in science (November 2017)
society article
A Medieval Treasure Discovered in Cluny
Archaeology A major cultural and religious hub of medieval Europe, the Abbey of Cluny has yet to reveal all of its secrets. Archaeologists at the site have recently discovered a hoard of gold and silver dating from the 12th century, hidden in the old infirmary. Among many types of coins, the cache contained precious Islamic dinars.
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matter billet
Marie Curie, Pioneer and Double Nobel Prize Winner
Physics Marie Curie was born on 7 November 1867, almost 150 years to the day. While a host of events are planned this year to celebrate her brilliant achievements, including a large exhibition at the Panthéon in Paris, CNRS historian Denis Guthleben looks back at her career, marked among other things by two Nobel Prizes in two different disciplines.
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society digital article
Mapping Our Way Out of Disaster
Imaging When natural or human-induced disasters strike, emergency services have to race against the clock to bring timely support to populations in trouble. First off the blocks are crisis-mappers—like those at the SERTIT—whose vital role is to track a catastrophe’s impact so that aid can follow.
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Also this month
society billet
The Ethics and Morals of Self-driving Cars
Psychology When a car accident is unavoidable, is it better to sacrifice the lives of passengers or pedestrians? It is on this type of moral dilemmas that the "Moral Machine" simulator developed by the cognitive psychologist Jean-François Bonnefon, will test you.
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matter diaporama
A Carousel for Science
Fluid mechanics The Coriolis rotating platform is the world’s only research structure of its kind devoted to fluid mechanics. First set up in the 1960s at the Laboratoire des écoulements géophysiques et industriels (LEGI) in Grenoble, it was rebuilt in 2014 with enhanced performance. It enables scientists from...
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space article
Gravitational Waves Reveal Neutron Star Merger
Physics A series of observations on an unprecedented scale combining detection of gravitational waves and electromagnetic signals at all wavelengths sheds light on unsolved mysteries of astrophysics.
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society article
The Boom and Bust of Spanish Bricks
Sociology Bricks, the first film by sociologist Quentin Ravelli, was released in October. This documentary about the Spanish financial crisis offers vivid insights into the plight of victims of toxic loans along with an overview of the capitalist financial system.
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society article
Versailles, from one Century to the Next
History The Palace of Versailles has always been enlarged and converted to meet the needs of each successive sovereign. The Verspera project aims to create a 3D model of the Palace as it was throughout the ages, by digitizing thousands of plans. In a special preview, CNRS News unveils Mignard’s Gallery,...
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matter video
The New Masters of Time
Physics 50 years ago, on October 13, 1967, the second—the unit of time—was no longer defined by stars, but by atoms. In this quest for precision, scientists are now inventing the clocks of the future, that will let us express time with greater accuracy, and also revisit the fundamental laws of physics....
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earth article
Overloaded Ecosystems
Environment An environmental disaster in Brittany, blooms of green algae provide evidence of a rapidly-growing occurrence caused by pollution: eutrophication. A scientific report published on 19 September 2017 sheds light on the causes, risks and ways of containing a phenomenon that takes place when aquatic...
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society article
Why Baudelaire Continues to Fascinate
Literature On the 150th anniversary of the death of Baudelaire, André Guyaux, literary historian at the Sorbonne, explains why the poet’s work is more topical than ever.
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And the latest from the CNRS
Press Releases
World's longest sauropod dinosaur trackway brought to light
Modeling social interactions to improve collective decision-making
Genetic history: Searching for the African roots of Noir Marron communities
Learning a mother tongue: A universal process?
Ensuring the survival of elephants in Laos: a matter of economics
International Cooperation
CNRS-CSIC Workshop in Madrid: Trends on Spintronics and Nanomagnetism
United StatesInstitutional
Signature of a cooperation agreement between the IN2P3 and Fermilab
Renewal of the partnership agreement between Kyoto University and the CNRS
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