Day: August 11, 2011

Glymes: The Next Big Group Of Chemicals That Everyone Is Going To Freak Out About

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Just as you’ve eliminated the last little bit of BPA in your life, now it’s time to start getting worried about glymes, the industrial solvent that’s already in your water and soon to be heavily regulated by the EPA.

Salvaging Boston’s Big Dig scraps

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

Have you ever wondered or worried about what happens to all the material left from large construction projects? Instead of heading to a landfill, over 600,000 pounds of construction materials from Boston’s Big Dig moved 12 miles outside of the city to make up the structural system for a private house.

Chemistry in Primetime and Online: Communicating Chemistry in Informal Environments

Via Docuticker.

Source: National Academy of Sciences

From the catalog description:

In May 2010, the National Academies’ Chemical Sciences Roundtable held a workshop to examine how the public obtains scientific information informally and to discuss methods that chemists can use to improve and expand efforts to reach a general, nontechnical audience. Workshop participants included chemical practitioners (e.g., graduate students, postdocs, professors, administrators); experts on informal learning; public and private funding organizations; science writers, bloggers, publishers, and university communications officers; and television and Internet content producers. Chemistry in Primetime and Online is a factual summary of what occurred in that workshop.

Chemistry in Primetime and Online examines science content, especially chemistry, in various informal educational settings. It explores means of measuring recognition and retention of the information presented in various media formats and settings. Although the report does not provide any conclusions or recommendations about needs and future directions, it does discuss the need for chemists to connect more with professional writers, artists, or videographers, who know how to communicate with and interest general audiences. It also emphasizes the importance of formal education in setting the stage for informal interactions with chemistry and chemists.

Want to raise your home’s value? Try solar panels

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

It’s well established that updating a bathroom or remodeling a kitchen are among the most cost effective ways to raise a home’s value. What’s lesser known is that renewable energy also fetches a more premium price from buyers.

Analysis recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an independent economic policy think tank, found that solar photovoltaic (PV) panels between 3 percent and 4 percent to the value of a home on average.

Feds Adopting Green IT, but Lag on Tracking Progress

Read the full story at GreenerComputing.

The U.S. government will dispose of some 750,000 computers and monitors this year and spend $79 billion on IT. That budget will include the purchase of roughly one million computers and monitors.

This vast IT footprint will become more environmentally friendly under two executive orders issued in 2007 and 2009. The orders direct government agencies to adopt a range of sustainability measures, including several green IT requirements, such as reducing paper use and buying more efficient equipment.

Government agencies are beginning to make good on these orders, but most haven’t created baselines or targets to measure progress, according to a recent report (PDF) from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). This makes it impossible to tell whether the efforts are truly advancing President Obama’s sustainability agenda.

Supporting Decisions By the Pie Slice: EPA Researcher Serves Up Data

Read the full story in Science Matters.

A picture paints a thousand words. Knowledge is power but too much information can overwhelm. An expert makes decisions easier by knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore. These sayings apply to the work of David Reif, Ph.D., an EPA statistician and geneticist who is developing innovative ways of harnessing huge amounts of information on toxic chemicals to better protect human health and the environment.

%d bloggers like this: