Adam Gopnik Speaks on Science & the Humanities

Sep 4, 2014

It’s no secret that being a Tech ‘nerd’ is the hot thing now.  Schools like Virginia Tech have been at that for a long time.  But Tech has long been working to connect the study of science with the humanities and break down the barriers between the two disciplines.

The ensemble called “Junk DNA,” is made up of a couple of arts professors with a technical side and a sense of humor. They know how to take two seemingly disparate things and blend them together to make something interesting.


Aug 26, 2014

Analyzing water is a complicated business.  It can contain any number of pollutants and require a variety of regulations to clean it up, but the state of Virginia is using a simpler approach – letting nature determine water quality, and asking citizens to help.

On a sunny weekday afternoon, four people arrive at a one-lane bridge northeast of Charlottesville, unpacking a car loaded with mysterious gear – nets, gloves and waders, a table and chairs.  They could easily be mistaken for picnickers.  In fact, they’re on a more serious mission.

How Plants Communicate

Aug 14, 2014
Jim Westwood

Your garden may be a peaceful spot, but there’s a lot of chatter going on in those plant beds, even though it’s out of humans’ earshot.  Scientists know that plants actually communicate.  Now, at Virginia Tech, they’re finding out more about how they do it. 


A group of Academics from Kurdistan, visiting Virginia Tech for 3 weeks this month, has watched from afar as their homeland faces attack by ISIS militants.

The group is here studying higher education practices and principles in order to bring them back to their home universities. It’s funded by the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi Embassy. When they left home, Kurdistan was in peace. 

Neutrinos are the second most abundant particles in the universe.  They’re invisible and seem to have little impact on our daily lives, but without them life itself, would not be possible.  Now Scientists think they may be useful for monitoring nuclear reactors, like the one in Iran.  

Physicist Enrico Fermi named the particle he had long surmised existed, neutrino Italian for ‘the little neutral one’ because, it has a neutral electrical charge.