Making sense of science

Newsletter September 2017

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This month in science (September 2017)
society article
Jean Rouch: a film-maker, ethnologist and explorer
Ethnology To mark the centenary of the birth of the French ethnologist and film-maker Jean Rouch, a series of events is being organized throughout France this year, with the support of prominent national and international institutions, such as Unesco. CNRS News takes this opportunity to look at the life and career of this precursor of "truthful cinema"—who was also a CNRS researcher.
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life billet
Facial Recognition: Cracking the Brain’s Code
Neuroscience A recent study has unlocked the code that allows the brain, using a surprisingly small number of neurons, to recognize any face. The discovery opens new perspectives for research, and could lead to applications in the therapeutic fields as well as forensic medicine. The neuroscientist Lucie Bard explains this breakthrough.
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matter billet
The "Hanging Gardens" of Physics
Physics Far from the labs of the big cities, France boasts two scenic locations given over to scientific thinking and to the sharing of knowledge among physicists from around the world. CNRS News takes you to these gardens of knowledge. Your guide is physicist Bart van Tiggelen.
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Also this month
society article
Is the Oasis a Mirage?
Geography Far from immune to the effects of globalization, the oases of the world are changing. Whatever their many forms, water is always the determining element.
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life article
How Honeybees Learn from Floor to Ceiling
Biology Honeybees, like humans, rely on their sense of vision to explore their surroundings. New findings show that the insects can memorize visual cues not only below, but also above them, to make their way back to specific locations.
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life billet
Our Decisions Are Irrational
Neurobiology Even the most rational among us make their decisions... at random! The neurobiologist Thomas Boraud explains why in this column.
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digital article
Bourbaki and the Foundations of Modern Mathematics
Mathematics A group of French mathematicians introduced an entirely new vision of their discipline. Yet despite decades of international recognition, Bourbaki remains shrouded in mystery.
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life diaporama
Testing Pilot Whales’ Sense of Smell
Biology Like all members of the dolphin family, pilot whales have a highly developed acoustic sense. But what of their sense of taste and smell? Can they perceive odors and flavors? What organs are involved? On board the Else, which belongs to the Asociacion de Naturalistas del Sureste (ANSE), the team of...
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society billet
Shutting Down the “Boy Factory”
Sociology Could it be that the difficulties experienced by boys in secondary school originate from the conflicting messages they receive for the construction of their masculine identity?
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