Topic: Science

Recent Updates

Good Intentions Are Not Enough: A note about the 51 Pegasi b Fellowship

We are tremendously proud of the eight new 51 Pegasi b Fellows announced earlier this week. They are among the finest in the field, and we celebrate their selection. But we also realize that our program has room for improvement with respect to gender diversity, and we’d like to thank our astronomy colleagues for calling us on where we have fallen short. Their feedback has brought reflection, self-critique, and, hopefully, change and improvement. We are especially appreciative of the feedback because our Foundation is funding projects to address gender inequities in physics and astronomy in the U.S. Continue Reading

New Class of 51 Pegasi b Fellows Announced

Today, the Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the eight recipients of this year’s 51 Pegasi b Fellowships. These fellows are amongst the most promising and gifted researchers working in the field of planetary astronomy. Recipients will receive a research grant of up to $375,000 over three years to pursue innovative independent research ideas, take risks, and tackle challenging questions that will accelerate the field. Continue Reading

Physics Today: Foundation Director on the Draw of Science Philanthropy

“Sleuthing for potentially brilliant research ideas to fund turns out to be a fun cultural shift after a decades-long lab career.” In its regular question-and-answer… Continue Reading

Discovery Opens New Paths for Astronomy

Among the thousands of scientists involved in the discovery of the merger of two neutron stars is a team led by astronomer Ryan Foley at UC Santa Cruz. With support from the Heising-Simons Foundation, Foley’s team captured the first images of the event in a galaxy 130 million light-years away utilizing the 1-meter Swope Telescope at the Carnegie Institution’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Continue Reading

Study Finds Latinos Highly Engaged with Climate Change Issue

Self-identified Latinos in the United States are more convinced that global warming is happening and that it is caused by human activity, according to a national study conducted by grantee the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Latinos are also more worried about climate change, more supportive of climate change policies, and more willing to demand political action than non-Latinos. Continue Reading

Taking on Gender Disparities in Physics and Astronomy

Inside Philanthropy explores the “disturbing decline” of female physics and astronomy students who are on the path from students to professionals in those fields, and… Continue Reading

On the Fair Treatment of Women in Science

The Heising-Simons Foundation’s Science program is committed to addressing gender imbalances and inequities in the fields of physics and astronomy, both in colleges and in academic and research careers in the United States. One of our closest thought partners in this work has been UC Berkley’s Chancellor Emeritus and Silverman professor of physics Robert Birgeneau, who recently co-wrote a letter about this subject in the September 2017 Science magazine issue. Continue Reading

Science Explained: Watch MinutePhysics’ Video on Neutrinos

Explaining complex science concepts in simple and entertaining ways for a general audience can be a hard task, but theoretical physicist Henry Reich has carved out a special place in the YouTube-sphere doing exactly that. In its latest video, supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation’s Science program, MinutePhysics explains the surprising characteristics of “neutrino oscillations.” Continue Reading

New AAAS Mass Media Fellows Ready to Communicate Science

For the third year, the Heising-Simons Foundation is excited to support the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in its competitive fellowship program that connects scientists and journalists to better communicate complex science ideas to all audiences. Continue Reading

51 Pegasi b Fellow Jason Dittmann Discovers Temperate Super-Earth Exoplanet

In a remarkable discovery, researchers have found a new exoplanet 39 light-years away that shows promise for life beyond our solar system. Jason Dittmann, lead… Continue Reading