Author archives: Invited Researcher

Image of Invited Researcher

Outstanding researchers present their work and share their opinions in Mapping Ignorance.

Mapping how the 100 billion cells in the brain all fit together is the brave new world of neuroscience

Mapping how the 100 billion cells in the brain all fit together is the brave new world of neuroscience

Neuroscience

By Invited Researcher

The brain plays an essential role in how people navigate the world by generating both thought and behavior. Despite being one of the most vital organs of life, it takes up only 2% of human body volume. How can something so small perform such complex tasks? Luckily, modern tools like brain mapping have allowed neuroscientists […]

Invasive species are threatening Antarctica’s fragile ecosystems

Invasive species are threatening Antarctica’s fragile ecosystems

BiologyEcology

By Invited Researcher

We tend to think Antarctica is isolated and far away – biologically speaking, this is true. But the continent is busier than you probably imagine, with many national programs and tourist operators crisscrossing the globe to get there. And each vessel, each cargo item, and each person could be harbouring non-native species, hitchhiking their way […]

The Evolution of Murder

The Evolution of Murder

Prepared to kill

By Invited Researcher

The American evolutionary psychologist David Buss contends in his 2005 book The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind Is Designed to Kill that the evolutionary process humans acquired psychological adaptations to facilitate homicide. Natural selection, it is hypothesized, winnowed and perfected psychological mechanisms that solved certain problems by facilitating homicidal behavior. Of course, to solve […]

Child slavery in West Africa: understanding cocoa farming is key to ending the practice

Child slavery in West Africa: understanding cocoa farming is key to ending the practice

EconomicsSociology

By Invited Researcher

In 2000 and 2001, the use of child slaves on cocoa farms in West Africa was exposed in a series of documentaries and pieces of investigative journalism, sparking an international outcry . This series of events was far from unprecedented. As discussed in my paper, since the 19th century, when cocoa was first introduced to […]

A forgotten mangrove forest around remote inland lagoons in Mexico’s Yucatan tells a story of rising seas

A forgotten mangrove forest around remote inland lagoons in Mexico’s Yucatan tells a story of rising seas

BiologyEcologyGeosciencesPlant biology

By Invited Researcher

The San Pedro River winds from rainforests in Guatemala through the Yucatan Peninsula in eastern Mexico. There, this peaceful river widens into a series of slow-flowing lakes. Along a remote 50-mile (80-kilometer) stretch, thousands of red mangroves – trees commonly found along tropical coastlines – line the river’s banks and gentle waterfalls. Unlike mangroves elsewhere […]

My Ph.D. supervisor just won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for designing a safer, cheaper and faster way to build molecules and make medicine

My Ph.D. supervisor just won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for designing a safer, cheaper and faster way to build molecules and make medicine

Chemistry

By Invited Researcher

  The reason that ibuprofen treats headaches and ice cream tastes sweet is that their chemical components fit perfectly into certain receptors in your body. The better a drug or flavor molecule fits with its matching receptor, the more effective the medicine or tastier the treat. But an interesting quirk of nature is that many […]

Strontium isotopes can map monarch butterfly migrations and help conservation efforts

Strontium isotopes can map monarch butterfly migrations and help conservation efforts

BiologyChemistry

By Invited Researcher

The eastern North American population of monarch butterflies are famous for their annual, multi-generational, round-trip migration from the oyamel fir forests of Central Mexico through the United States to Canada and back. Sadly, the population of monarch butterflies is declining, and the future of the monarch migratory phenomenon is uncertain. Scientists can study migrations by […]

Digital activism for social transformation

Digital activism for social transformation

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Martha R. Villabona works at Subdirección General de Cooperación Territorial e Innovación Educativa of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, where she coordinates the area of multiple literacies. Communication trough networks has changed how relationships between governments, citizens, politicians and other social actors develop. This form of communication, interconnection and interaction is […]