Weekly Roundup

I’m back from a 2-week hiatus in Quebec, where it’s still freezing. Thanks to Mike for his great job filling in last week.

Canadian scientists determined that Monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico using a built-in solar-calibrated compass, and not a “true” navigation system with positional awareness. Bonus points to CBC News author Emily Chung for including researchers’ “experimental bumps,” including uncooperative butterflies who wouldn’t migrate within the flight simulator, showcasing how the course of an experiment isn’t always smooth.  The research is forthcoming in PNAS.

Sheila Jasanoff raises questions about the accountability (and lack thereof) of science advisers in the fourth article of The Guardian’s series on science advice (read parts 1, 2, and 3).

Will Oremus at Slate reminds us that Margaret Thatcher was really a “climate hawk”: she promoted responsible, sustainable economic development and was one of the earliest world leaders who spoke about the danger of global warming.

Here’s an amazing time-lapse video from Scott Lawson’s YouTube channel demonstrating magnetism with iron oxide-infused Silly Putty. Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy explains the properties at work, as well as why science needs more cool stuff like this.

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