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Life sciences/Neuroscience

Seven foundations have formed a coalition with the aim of increasing support for basic science among the nation’s philanthropists and foundations, Robert Conn, president of The Kavli Foundation, announced on 2 May. The group hopes to double philanthropic support in this area of U.S. science within a decade.

You could call it the “Carl Sagan Trap,” after the late Cornell astronomer who was chided by some of his colleagues for spending too much time as a science popularizer. Far too many scientists still see themselves in this trap, seemingly caught between being a top-notch researcher and a public communicator.

Dinosaurs, robots, and volcanoes are often the stars of children’s science news, but a new video resource from AAAS’s EurekAlert! news service shows that scientists themselves can be compelling characters.

Not so long ago, Jim Head would put in a full day at the Raytheon Co. plant in Tucson, then go out to teach night classes in astronomy at the local community college. Much of his work at Raytheon was focused on civil space programs—space travel was a passion dating to his youth. But it seemed vitally important to work with young people, to share with them the mysteries and mission of space exploration and the thrill of science itself.

Chewing gum stays in your stomach for seven years. Gelatin comes from animal hooves. Vitamin C prevents colds.

We’ve all heard them before. But how much truth lay behind claims that, say, reading in low light or sitting too close to the television will cause us to need glasses?

According to “Reality Check,” a recently launched feature by AAAS’s award-winning, nationally syndicated radio program Science Update, not too much.