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From the archives

Our Violent National Game

The great hockey debate continues

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

Mélanie Frappier

Mélanie Frappier is a professor in the History of Science and Technology Programme at the University of King’s College, Halifax.

Articles by
Mélanie Frappier

Mind Games

The inventive powers of the imagination infuse the work of a famed mathematician. December 2015
Interviewed for Scientific American about Genius at Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway, the biography of his life authored by Canadian journalist Siobhan Roberts, the renowned mathematician reminisces about his encounter with the fabled French mathematician Nicolas Bourbaki. This would have been a meeting of the minds. Bourbaki had been behind the “New Math” movement that briefly swept the American school system in the wake of the Sputnik…

Physics as Humanism

A gifted communicator argues for better living through better science December 2012
While studying British statistical data, 19th–century economist Robert Malthus realized that if trends continued, population would necessarily outgrow food resources. This in turn, Malthus argued, meant that the future held in store unavoidable cycles of famine. He thus concluded, somewhat cynically, that charity toward the indigent was not only useless, but also exacerbated the problem by depleting society’s resources to help the poor survive and…

Extreme Physics

There is little collegiality in the serious pursuit of science March 2011
The first talk given by physicist John Moffat, back in 1953, was a fiasco. Only 19, he had not expected his audience to be hostile to someone trying to extend Einstein’s unified field theory. Alone and distraught by the condescending reaction of his audience, the young Moffat impulsively decided to write to Albert Einstein himself. “I have today held a talk on my work with regard to your theory at the Niels Bohr…

Tabloid Science

Does a personal approach to scientists’ lives help explain quantum physics? November 2008