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December 19, 2016
There's a giant crack in Antarctica. 

Dear Readers,

We made it through another semester and another year. Whew.

On arctic days like these, there's nothing better than burrito-wrapping myself in bed and reading the internet. I hope you get to catch up on some reading this next week too.

We took a break from writing this month to share the top science booksstories, and papers of 2016. We've also stocked you up on Recommended Reading to get you through the deep freeze.

Thanks for joining us on this newsletter adventure. Since we began in August, we've more than doubled our readership and surpassed our goal of 100 subscribers! Your words of encouragement have meant so much to us. If you know someone who wants to subscribe, forward this email or send them over to our website -

Stay in touch, stay warm, and we'll see you next year!

Take care,

Recommended Reading

What is Post-Truth and how do we fight it? Cabinet picks close to our hearts: Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. High schoolers are smarter than Big Pharma.  Science ed in Trump’s America. Could U.S. government data be compromised? Will guerilla archiving save it? The DNA of the slave trade. Fake news is nothing new. What is critical thinking and how do we teach it? Start by breaking down statistical lies. Stalagmite like to share a secret. Nothing sounds more intense than black-hole fireworks. The Polar Vortex always exists. Word of the day: phylosymbiosis. Gender bias in the hospital. The sea blob we spot once per century. FemmeSci reading for the holidays. Camaraderie and competition a capella. You’ve landed among the stars, John Glenn. Harry Potter spiders- so cute! Why don’t humans have a penis bone? Isthmuses and army ants. Will the war on globalization change academia? House passes $6.3 bil to biomedical research. And Rhode Island is painting with all the colors of the wind.

Under the Lens


In the next few weeks, you might be visiting with loved ones. We know they'll be asking you things like "So how's school going?" or "What exactly do you do?" How do you answer these questions?

Tell us about your science conversations on Twitter @_sciencecafe or email us at


Podcast Picks

A Little Happier: During the Holidays, Say “Yes” If we Can
What improvements do you want to make in 2017? Gretchen Rubin, host of the podcast Happier, provides life hacks for making small changes that can lead to big results. Listen to the episode to get some tips for a happier holiday season.
If you loved Serial, Crimetown is your next binge listen. Each season focuses on crime in a different city. Find out how young prosecutor Buddy Cianci was corrupted by the nefarious but beloved mayor/mobster who ran Providence, RI.
Once More, With Feeling
Perfect for this time year that we share with loved ones, reflecting on the past and thinking about the changes that lie in our future. TAL does it again with stories of how a change in approach can bring surprising results.  

Supplemental Figure


See you in January!

Shoutouts to...

Dan Pers, Honghu Quan, Lorna Cohen, and Deanna Arsala, on the paper you just published on Asian longhorned beetles! We love the figures.

Sneha Gummuluri, you passed your prelim! You earned some hard core relaxation this break.

Jenny Dalton, winner of the Digital Globe Imagery Grant! You won a very expensive satellite image of Alaska that provides 30 cm resolution! 30 cm! We can't wait to hear what you learn about ground squirrel burrows up there.

A note from JD: If anyone is interested in obtaining FREE imagery which is otherwise VERY expensive, here's a link to the Foundation's website:

Greyson Waldhart, you are so good at the crystalline sponge method! Congrats on your publication.

Elsa Anderson, winner of the Provost's Award! You've got a sweet project about bees in Chicago's vacant lots, and we are eager to see what you find. 

Happy Birthday to Christina Sidorowych, Huini Wu, Xiao Guo, Kayleigh Tovar, Natalie Yoshioka, Hank Howe, and Manjun Chai. This year, we got you two Arctic Blasts and a Christkindlmarket mug.

Go on, brag a little. Send us your rockstar moments of the month at



12.20          Scopes in the City @ Adler Planetarium

12.21          Nerdette Podcast Live Recording
                       @ Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre

12.27-31     Pop-Up Programs @ Adler Planetarium

1.5              Getting Started with Illustrator @ Polsky Center

1.7              Restoring Beaubien Woods @ Beaubien Woods

1.10            Why in the World Haven’t We Cured Alzheimer’s by Now?
                        @ The Radler

1.12            Reel Science - Space Balls screening @ Adler Planetarium

1.13            Doane at Dusk @ Adler Planetarium

                   TEDx Chicago @ Harold Washington Library

1.14            Restoring Eggers Grove @ Eggers Grove

1.19            Adler After Dark: Retrorocket @ Adler Planetarium

Share your event here and on our calendar.

Do some good.

For holidays or other occasions, shop at At the intersection of philanthropy and design, this site connects you with vetted organizations that need your help, grouped by cause. Whether you are a Captain Planet or Friend of Islam, this is a great place to route donations. Or if you're a Broke Grad Student, use this site as a directory to important org's where you can donate your time.
Hey you.
We love The Science Café, and we want to see it grow. Do you want to join our team? We seek writers, social media contributors, and designers for our logo and website. We also welcome submissions of writing or other content that you've created.
If you're interested, or just want to ask a non-committal question about it, email us at

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