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Art & Artifacts


March 26, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 13



March 19, page 8: The science brief on MOF-mediated catalysis incorrectly stated that Bruce C. Gates’s affiliation is the University of California, Irvine. Gates is a professor at the University of California, Davis.

Letters to the Editor


Strange chemistry displays

The Newscripts story on the glass laboratory equipment displayed at the Tiffany store (Jan. 1, page 40) reminded me of the installation I saw at MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires). It was meant to be a work of art, so the interpretation was left to the viewer. The distillation setup seems reasonable, though it is unclear what one would distill out of the coins. The artist must have had some experience with chemistry labs. The photograph was taken in 2014.

Michael Koberda
Northfield, Ill.

A photo shows a flask with a handful of coins attached to a condenser that leads to a beaker on the right.
Credit: Michael Koberda

From the web

Re: NSF addresses sexual harassment by grant recipients

A reader questioned how the National Science Foundation will protect people who report sexual harassment by grantees.

While I applaud the NSF for forming a position on the unfortunate reality of sexual harassment in STEM fields, I worry that their approach will have unintended consequences for the victims of sexual harassment. The NSF has not described a provision protecting NSF-funded graduate students who are sexually harassed by their PIs. If a graduate student receives funding via an NSF grant awarded to their PI, this policy could encourage them to not report the abuse. It forces students to choose between receiving continued funding (what many graduate students consider to be priority one) and reporting their abuse. There is also the possibility of retribution against a reporter from other students/postdocs who lose their grant funding as a result of them reporting harassment.

These are just some of the reflections I have as a recent female Ph.D. graduate whose studies were funded by my professor’s NSF grant.

Nicole Burke


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