Which Are the Best Companies to Work for in the U.S.? Tech Dominates Linkedin’s Top 50

Tech & Science Amazon Facebook Google Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook are among the best places to work in the United States, according to a recent LinkedIn study. The social network for professionals released the "Top Companies: Where the U.S. Wants to Work Now” report today (March 21). 50 companies were listed from the U.S. and out of the top 10, eight were technology related. The companies are ranked based on LinkedIn user interaction. It refers to four main points: interest in the company; engagement with company emloyees; job demand; and job retention. Amazon finished first in part because of its upcoming expansion to a second headquarters. The online shopping giant employs 566,000 people worldwide and is constantly innovating with new hardware. Since the start of 2017, Amazon has been awarded more than 2,000 patents. Recommended Slideshows 26 In Pictures: The World's Most Expensive Countries to Live In 117 The 2018 World Press Photo of the Year contest: And the nominees are... 51 In Pictures: The 50 Most Powerful Military Forces in the World Outgoing products move along a conveyor belt at an Amazon Fulfillment Center on Cyber Monday in Tracy, California, U.S. November 28, 2016. REUTERS/Noah Berger Alphabet—the parent company of Google—ranked second. Its 72,000 employees around the world are treated to perks such as free cafes, bikes to commute around campus and sleeping pods if they are tired. The Googleplex headquarters in San Jose—made famous by The Internship movie—even has slides. Facebook rounds out the top three, current scandal aside. It employs just over 25,000 people worldwide and recently announced U.S. employees will get up to 20 days paid leave in the event an immediate family member dies. The change was announced after chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg’s husband died suddenly at 47. See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshows The two Continue Reading

Northern White Rhino Extinction: Can Science Save the Subspecies?

Tech & Science The northern white rhinoceros has a long road back from the brink of extinction, but not all hope is lost for this subspecies. There are methods scientists could potentially use to save the mammal. Kenya-based Ol Pejeta Conservancy announced that the last male northern white rhino, 45-year-old Sudan, died on Monday. The veterinarians who were treating him euthanized him because he “was suffering a great deal” from issues with his bones, muscles and skin related to his age. There are now only two northern white rhinos left alive, and they are both females: Sudan’s daughter Najin and her daughter Fatu, who are living at Ol Pejeta. White rhinos can be divided into two subspecies—in addition to the northern white rhino, there is also the southern white rhino. Sudan’s death came a few weeks after reports that his health was deteriorating and about 2.5 years after the last northern white rhino death. In late 2015, the 41-year-old female Nola died from a bacterial infection. She had been living by herself at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Recommended Slideshows 26 In Pictures: The World's Most Expensive Countries to Live In 117 The 2018 World Press Photo of the Year contest: And the nominees are... 51 In Pictures: The 50 Most Powerful Military Forces in the World Circumstances are alarming for the northern white rhino, with now only two members still standing. But Sudan may help conservationists and his subspecies from beyond the grave. Ol Pejeta said officials collected his genetic material “for future attempts at reproduction of northern white rhinos through advanced cellular technologies.” Najin and Fatu are not able to conceive naturally, according to Ol Pejeta, but that’s where technology comes in. The charity Helping Rhinos notes that there has been research into creating a calf using in vitro fertilization. If that fails, and Najin and Fatu die without bringing new rhino Continue Reading

CBS News Logo Science lab on wheels sparks student interest in STEM

As he finished his Ph.D. thesis in 2007, Ben Dubin-Thaler took a risk: rather than accepting a full-time job offer, the Columbia University graduate set out to create a high-tech science lab. In some ways, it would be a typical lab, with microscopes and beakers, scientists and specimens. But there would be one key difference: the lab would be completely mobile. Dubin-Thaler knew that many elementary schools, especially those in inner-city areas, do not have a dedicated science classroom or lab, which means many students never get a chance to touch high-grade equipment, like microscopes, until they enter high school. So he convinced a group of generous backers to fund the BioBus. The converted 1974 San Francisco city bus is a science lab on wheels. It parks outside of New York area schools for up to a week, teaching up to 180 students each day. "Kids have a very natural sense of curiosity and wonder. The magic of the bus is that it taps directly into that," instructor Danny Valdes told CBSNews.com. Tapping into that curiosity is increasingly important, as several recent studies have shown that students across the country are losing interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The declining interest couldn't come at a worse time. Analysts say there will be an increasing number of STEM career opportunities in the coming years. Experts at the Partnership for a New American Economy project say that there will be a shortfall of 230,000 qualified advanced-degree STEM workers by 2018. With visits to schools, parks, camps, museums and festivals throughout New York, more than 70,000 students have climbed on board the BioBus over the past six years. Trips to schools where at least 40 percent of the students qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program (designated as Title 1 schools) are fully paid for by a grant from the Richard Lounsbery Foundation. The remainder of the bus' $260,000 annual operating budget comes from private donations Continue Reading

Science luminaries reflect on Stephen Hawking and his legacy

Tech & Science Stephen Hawking Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking died on March 14 at the age of 76. Hawking awed us with his remarkable mind, which delivered revelations about black holes and other wonders of the universe, and with his defiant inability to be diminished by his paralysis, brought on by his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, when he was 21 years old. Hawking was revered as much by other scientists as he was by the general public. Newsweek asked a few luminaries about how Hawking inspired them, what he represented and what he contributed to our world. Their reflections are below. The following comments have been edited and condensed. See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshows Stephen Hawking in 2010. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Recommended Slideshows 41 Pictures of the Week: St. Patrick's Day, Northern Lights, School Walkout and More 76 75 Best Biographies of All Time 22 In Pictures: Jeers and Cheers as Donald Trump Visits California and His Mexico Border Wall Mae Jemison Engineer, physician and former NASA astronaut When Stephen Hawking came along there was already the Apollo program, and I grew up during that time period when we were going into space. I think what Stephen Hawking did quite admirably is he got the public to think more deeply about our universe and not assume that we couldn’t understand it. We owe a debt to him. He made it possible for us to talk about black holes not as just something that’s in a science fiction movie. And when they are in a science fiction movie, people now know they exist for real. We can talk about time and space and think about the greater universe and our place in it—he definitely helped to pull that to the forefront. Avi Loeb Theoretical physicist, Harvard University   Stephen embodied the superiority of mind over matter. He demonstrated that the human spirit can overcome all physical limitations Continue Reading

The science is clear: Torture doesn’t work

A volunteer undergoes a demonstration of waterboarding in a protest outside the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on November 5, 2007. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters Tech & Science Torture Interrogation CIA enhanced interrogation techniques In early 2003, Glenn Carle, an interrogator with the CIA, arrived at a secret detention facility overseas to question a recently captured Al-Qaeda suspect. The jail, whose location remains classified, was cold and dark—so dark Carle could not see his own hands—and music blared loudly all around. Inside the cell, a man lay shivering under a flimsy blanket; Carle called to him, and he looked up slowly, weary and confused, when Carle entered. When questioned, the man could manage only a rambling, incoherent reply. “He was a wreck,” Carle says.The man’s dilapidated state of mind was the result of a systematic program of torture inflicted on terrorism suspects by the CIA after 9/11. Nudity, extreme temperatures, sleep and sensory deprivation, dietary manipulation, waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” were meant to break down detainees’ resistance to interrogation. The stress and disorientation induced by these methods, it was believed, would force them to cooperate and release whatever precious information they were hiding. But according to Carle, this theory is wrong.“Information obtained under duress is suspect and polluted from the start and harder to verify,” he says. See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshowsHis views have been vindicated by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which concluded in the executive summary of its 6,000-page study of the CIA program, released in December 2014, that the agency’s harsh methods failed to glean any intelligence not available through softer tactics. However, the CIA has disputed the Senate’s findings, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has vowed to Continue Reading

In honor of International Women’s Day, here are 5 women in U.S. history who changed the world of science

Tech & Science Women have not always received the recognition they deserve, whether for their professional or personal labors. That includes female scientists in the realms of medicine, astronomy, genetics and more. In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, here are five women from U.S. history who had a significant impact on science, in the face of great adversity. Elizabeth Blackwell Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree from a U.S. university. Public domain The first woman to receive a medical degree from an American university was British. Elizabeth Blackwell completed Geneva Medical College in 1849, breaking down a barrier for females in the United States. She then worked even harder to bring women into the field of medicine, founding the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, which accepted female doctors who had been denied internships at other institutions. The Bleecker Street facility opened in 1857 and a medical college was later added to it. See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshows According to the National Institutes of Health, Blackwell had only been accepted to Geneva Medical College when the entirely male student body voted to allow her to study with them as a joke. Annie Jump Cannon Annie Jump Cannon designed the star classification system that astronomers still use today. Public domain This American woman changed the way astronomers looked at the stars, serving a vital role in developing the star classification system that experts still use today. The system used to be quite complicated but in 1901 Annie Jump Cannon limited star classes to O, B, A, F, G, K and M, with single-digit numerical magnitudes within each class—a structure that grouped the stars based on their temperatures. She also discovered hundreds of new stars and has one of the coolest names in the biz. Henrietta Lacks Henrietta Lacks’ special cells Continue Reading

Science is one step closer to understanding how The Iceman withstands frostbite

Tech & Science brain activity undefined How 58-year-old Wim Hof can withstand the extreme cold is something of a scientific mystery, but a new study of his brain has helped scientists develop a better understanding of his unique trait. Hof—better known as “The Iceman”—credits his unusual ability to a set of self-developed techniques dubbed the “Wim Hof Method,” or WHM. The method involves three components: breathing exercises, training of mindset/concentration and gradual exposure to cold, according to his website. In an effort to understand what’s happening internally while he’s in such temperatures, researchers from Wayne State University School of Medicine conducted a controlled whole-body cold exposure experiment. Related: Owls Are Attacking People And Dogs In Wake of Cold Weather While wearing a full body suit infused with temperature-controlled water, the extreme athlete underwent a combination of two types of imaging techniques: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), according to the study published February 10 in the journal Neuroimage. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now Dr. Otto Muzik, professor in the School of Medicine at Wayne State University, prepares for a study with Wim Hof, 'The Iceman,' to better understand how his brain responds during exposure to cold. Wayne State University School of Medicine The Dutch man practiced the WHM while undergoing the two scans. Findings revealed that the intense breathing method allowed him to regulate his skin temperature and possibly his internal temperature, too. “The willful regulation of skin temperature—and, by implication, core body temperature, even when the body is being stressed with cold—is an unusual occurrence and may explain his resistance to frostbite,” Otto Muzik, study author and professor at Wayne State University Continue Reading

How Civic Science Is Changing Environmentalism

No doctorate required; you too can be a civic scientist and save the planet. Gerald Herbert/AP Tech & Science Science Environmental regulation in America is so dysfunctional that one U.S. environmental agency official recently said (under the condition of anonymity), “We basically need citizens to sue in order for us to do our jobs.”But if you want to sue, how do you show that the power plant down the street is giving your kid asthma, or that the local chemical plant is illegally dumping toxic materials into the river that cuts through your town?If you’re Scott Eustis, a coastal wetland specialist at the Gulf Restoration Network, you go fly a kite. Specifically, you fly a kite to which you’ve strapped a small $40 digital camera. He has used the kite to map the waterways of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, taking aerial images of the environmental damage afflicting the region’s bayous, lakes, rivers and streams.The images the kite captured are now, in part, the basis of a federal lawsuit filed in March against United Bulk Terminals Davant, a coal export facility in New Orleans. The suit alleges that the terminal has violated the federal Clean Water Act by discharging hazardous coal runoff and petroleum coke into the Mississippi River. Although organizations had been monitoring the region for years, “it was the mid-range distance of the kite photos,” says Eustis, “that provided high-resolution photographs that showed that not only was this company violating its permit but that they were dumping so much petroleum and coal byproduct that it was forming a pile.”Recommended Slideshows26In Pictures: The World's Most Expensive Countries to Live In117The 2018 World Press Photo of the Year contest: And the nominees are...51In Pictures: The 50 Most Powerful Military Forces in the WorldEnvironmental monitoring on a meaningful scale has traditionally been too costly for individuals, but evolving technologies are changing Continue Reading

Virginia Tech science center event: Fun is an important focus

BLACKSBURG — Sometimes scientists can be a little dry, but a group at Virginia Tech aiming to change that is opening a dialogue with the local community to make the topic fun and interesting. The event is billed as “The Role of the University in an Era of Science Skepticism and Fake News.” Tech’s Center for Communicating Science will host a panel discussion about academia’s role in communicating science to the general public this Sunday at the Moss Arts Center in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre at 3 p.m. The event is free. “I think this will be an opportunity to have an exciting conversation between university and community leaders,” said Patty Raun, the Tech center’s director. “We are looking for people of all perspectives.” The panel will feature: Sally Morton, dean of Tech’s College of Science; Audra Van Wart, director of education and training at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute; Sylvester Johnson, founding director of the new Center for the Humanities at Virginia Tech; and WDBJ (Channel 7) news anchor Robin Reed. The panel will be moderated by Brian Malow, who bills himself as a science comedian, but who also works as a science communicator and has done projects with famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. As part of the event, Malow will also do an evening of scientific stand-up at the Moss Arts Center the following night, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. That is also free. Carrie Kroehler, the center’s associate director, said the goal of the event is to bridge the gap between scientists and the public. “We have scientists who’ve made a lot of progress in solving a lot of problems but that doesn’t get translated into policy because of lack of communication or lack of understanding,” Kroehler said. The center for communicating science was created last year in an effort to help scientists on campus communicate their work and explain its Continue Reading

After Pao: How Tech Views Asians and Women

Tech & Science Ellen Pao Silicon Valley Women in Tech Sexism Gender EqualityOne of the biggest developments in the Ellen Pao story was how it moved over the length of the trial (which ended Friday when a jury denied her sexual discrimination suit against Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) from the business pages to the front page and even the evening news.TRUSTe and Match.com founder Fran Maier, who was a source for an earlier Newsweek article on the Pao case was on PBS NewsHour Friday evening, voicing her disappointment in the verdict while keeping an eye on the larger picture. “For many women it was seen as our opportunity to talk about working in tech companies,” she told Newshour’s Hari Sreenivasan, while reminding viewers that while the venture capital world—where women are estimated to make up just 4 to 6 percent of the workforce—may be small and rarefied, its influence is huge: Venture capitalists not only drive the growth of tech companies, they sit on the boards of many startups and advise many CEOs.Since the initial reaction to the verdict on social media, much of it from angry women, there have been “Thanks, Ellen” messages and countless think pieces that include mentions of a similar cases in the tech world: Facebook has been sued by a woman who accuses the company of gender discrimination and harassment; Twitter is facing a suit, saying women were denied promotion through a rather opaque process. In both cases the plaintiffs are Asian-American women—which may not be entirely coincidental. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing nowBernadette Madlangbayan Baillie, VP of marketing and business development at the just-launched “content-bombing” app Graphiti can relate; as a woman of Filipino descent with years of experience in the tech sector, she says, “For years there was an assumption that we would be quiet mathematicians, that we Continue Reading