From the Editors
Living on the Edge?
Some of the most extreme variations on our planet are related to the changing of the seasons. For instance, Dr. Paulina Szafrańska writes about how the winters we experience in Poland’s geographical latitude are a challenging time for weasels to live through: they “really do live on the edge – as shown by their high mortality rates in winter.” It turns out that in order to survive, weasels actually slow down their metabolism, which enables them to eat less and lower their body weight. The same thing happens with their brains: they shrink by 15% in order to consume less energy.
Such findings make one ponder: we humans, after all, also live in the same ecosystem and we also adapt to the environmental conditions, albeit in our own way. In the winter we dress more warmly, eat more calorific meals, spend less time outside and more in heated homes. That’s true, but at the same time our species has developed the ability to shape our environment. And not just in order to survive in it individually, but also to ensure that it provides a context in which all of human society can live better.
Efforts of this latter sort are visible in one of the threads of our conversation with the team of four women scholars now leading the Polish Young Academy. They note how the Polish Academy of Sciences decided last year to boost the share of female members of the Academy, and the same tendency is increasingly visible in grant-awarding, for instance. Not only because such are the demands of European projects, but also because of a growing awareness that the presence of women in science is important for all of society at large, as their ideas, their efforts, and their approaches help push science forward. The calculus is quite simple, really: “If we exclude the half of the world’s population that is made up by women, we reduce our development options in general.” And that is something that no country can afford, no matter what its climate.
Table of Contents:
Białowieża Primeval Forest Conservation Faces the Cutting Edge Women at the PAS | download
To Find a Means To Keep Looking | download
Musicology The Lessons of Old Scores | download
For a Clean Environment | download
Astrophysics Cartographers of the Universe | download
Economics Division and Movement | download
Biology It Pays to be Small in Winter | download
MARCIN RZESZUTEK, KATARZYNA SCHIER
Psychology The Trouble With Helping Others | download
WOJCIECH A. HELLWING
Astrophysics What Falls From the Sky | download
Oceanography Our Fresh-and-Salty Sea | download
Physics What Did Sst-1M See? | download
Paleontology Fish Like Me | download
ANNA AJDUK, NICOLE DOŁOWY-RYBIŃSKA, MONIKA KĘDRA, MONIKA KWOKA
Call to Action for Women in Science | download
Geology Thin Flakes, Thick Ice | download
Biology From the Soil to the Skies | download
Food Science Sprinkle Generously with Raspberry Powder | download
In the Lens
Tethys’ Mountainous Mysteries | download
Why Go To Extremes? | download