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Rajendra Pachauri, 79, Dies; Led Nobel-Winning Climate Agency



Rajendra K. Pachauri, a charismatic voice on the risks of global warming who led the United Nations’ climate science agency when it won the Nobel Peace Prize, but whose career ended amid accusations of sexual harassment, died on Thursday at his home in New Delhi. He was 79.

His death was announced by the Energy and Resources Institute in India, the influential policy organization he had headed for 34 years until being replaced in 2015 under the cloud of the harassment accusations, which also led to his departure from the U.N. agency. No cause of death was given, but he had recently undergone surgery for “a prolonged cardiac ailment,” according to India Today, a major news outlet.

The institute’s chairman, Nitin Desai, said in a statement that Dr. Pachauri’s leadership of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “laid the ground for climate change conversations today.”

Dr. Pachauri was chairman of the panel from 2002 to 2015. In 2007, the Norwegian Nobel Committee jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the group and former Vice President Al Gore “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change.”

Like many other prominent figures in climate science, Dr. Pachauri faced criticism from climate-change denial groups and their allies. Even within the scientific community he was sometimes criticized as having a tendency to combine science and advocacy.

A 2010 review of the U.N. panel’s procedures warned that “straying into advocacy can only hurt I.P.C.C.’s credibility.” However, many well-regarded climate scientists argue that advocacy is an essential part of raising alarms about the threat of climate change.

The researcher who led the 2010 review, Robbert Dijkgraaf, the director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., said that the I.P.C.C. “was very open to suggestions to strengthen the organization” and that he “was impressed with Chairman Pachauri’s emphasis on scientific rigor and careful processes.”

A former colleague offered a mixed portrait of Dr. Pachauri. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, a former vice president of the I.P.C.C., praised him in a statement on Twitter for having “put the climate change challenge and the science behind it on top of the international agenda.”

But be added that Dr. Pachauri “was sometimes overconfident, as when he refused to quickly acknowledge and correct” an erroneous estimate in the panel’s 2007 report, known as the Fourth Assessment, saying it was “very likely” that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 if current warming trends continued.

“This led to escalated and undue criticism of the organization he chaired,” Dr. van Ypersele wrote.

Through a spokesman, Mr. Gore said Dr. Pachauri’s “dedication to advance the science and raise global awareness of the climate crisis will endure.”

Rajendra Kumar Pachauri was born on Aug. 20, 1940, in Nainital, a hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas. He said that the stunning setting there had given him a deep affection for nature and made him sensitive to the fragility of the natural world.

He worked variously as an engineer, scientist and economist, with an academic career that took him to the Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Jamalpur, in Bihar state, and to North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering in 1972 and a joint doctorate in industrial engineering and economics in 1974.

In 1981 he became chief executive of what would become known as the Energy and Resources Institute, or TERI. Over his career, he wrote or co-wrote some 25 books.

Dr. Panchauri’s survivors include his wife, Saroj (Puri) Pachauri, who is a doctor and researcher on family planning and reproductive health; two daughters, Rashmi Pachauri-Rajan and Shonali Pachauri; and a son, Ash Pachauri.

Dr. Pachauri, known familiarly as Patchy, was a vegetarian, both because of his religious commitment as a Hindu and because of his views on the impact of meat production on the climate. He recommended vegetarianism as a way to fight global warming.

“In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time,” he said in a 2008 interview with The Guardian, “it clearly is the most attractive opportunity.”

In an interview after the 2007 Peace Prize was announced, Dr. Pachauri urged the nations of the world to act quickly to stop climate change.

“The price of waiting is enormous,” he said.


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Trimethylindium (TMI) Industry Size 2019, Market Opportunities, Share Analysis up to 2025




Trimethylindium (TMI) Industry Size 2019, Market Opportunities, Share Analysis up to 2025

New 2019 Report on “Trimethylindium (TMI) Market size | Industry Segment by Applications (Laser Diodes, Sensors (VCSEL), Light Emitting Diodes (LED), Concentrated Photovoltaic Cells (CPV) and Others), by Type (99.9995%, 99.9998%, 99.9999% and Others), Regional Outlook, Market Demand, Latest Trends, Trimethylindium (TMI) Industry Share & Revenue by Manufacturers, Company Profiles, Growth Forecasts – 2025.” Analyzes current market size and upcoming 5 years growth of this industry.

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Send your kids to Wizarding World of Science Spring Break Camp




Send your kids to Wizarding World of Science Spring Break Camp

Posted: 8:16 PM, Feb 23, 2020

Updated: 2020-02-23 21:28:14-05

The Wizarding World of Science Spring Break Camp.png

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local museum has some magical fun planned over Spring Break.

The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is hosting the Wizarding World of Science Spring Break Camp.

“Your young wizard or witch will participate in a multitude of educational, scientific experiments that are sure to delight including potions, charms, wand making and many more,” their event page says.

The camp runs from March 9 to March 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with before and after care options.

Here is a breakdown of the pricing for members and non-members.

Camp Pricing

  • Non-Members (Full Week) – $200 for One Child & $180 Each Additional Sibling
  • Members (Full Week) – $180 per Child
  • Drop-In (Daily Rate) – $55 per Child / per Day

Child Care Pricing:

  • Full Week – $10 per Day
  • Drop-In (Daily Rate) – $15 per Day

You can sign up your children here. First 100 registrations get a free camp t-shirt.

The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History is open today from Noon to 5pm!

Just a reminder, we are now enrolling for our Spring Break Camp!

Posted by Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History on Sunday, February 23, 2020

Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Smart Polymer Lights Up Under Stress | Asian Scientist Magazine




AsianScientist (Feb. 24, 2020) – A research group in Japan has created a stress-detecting ‘smart’ polymer that shines brighter when stretched. Their findings, published in Chemical Communications, could be used to track the wear and tear on materials used in engineering and construction industries.

By the time cracks or other visible defects appear in construction materials, the structural integrity of a building may already be compromised. In the present study, researchers led by Dr. Ayumu Karimata at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Japan, have created a copper-containing polymer that lights up proportionately to the amount of mechanical force exerted on it, paving the way for early detection of mechanical strain.

The scientists created their polymer by incorporating copper complexes—structures formed by linking copper atoms to carbon-containing molecules—with polybutylacrylate. The copper complexes, which hold the polybutylacrylate chains together, naturally glow when exposed to ultraviolet light, a property known as photoluminescence.

When the polymer is stretched, the copper complexes emit light at a greater intensity, leading to a brighter glow. The copper complexes therefore act as mechanophores—compounds which undergo a change when triggered by a mechanical force.

Most mechanophores are made from organic compounds which change color or emit light when mechanical stress breaks a weak chemical bond. However, Karimata noted that a relatively large force is required to break the chemical bond, so the mechanophore is not sensitive to small amounts of stress.

“Also, the process of breaking the bond is often irreversible, so these stress sensors can only be used once,” he said.

In contrast, the new copper mechanophores are sensitive to much smaller stresses and can respond quickly and reversibly. The scientists reported that their polymer film immediately brightened and dimmed in response to being stretched and released.

Karimata proposes that the acrylic polymer could eventually be adapted to create a stress-sensing acrylic paint for coating different structures, such as bridges or the frames of cars and aircraft.

“As we can see even from the direct visualization of the polymer, stress is applied across a material in a non-uniform way,” said Karimata. “A stress-sensing paint would allow hotspots of stress on a material to be detected and could help prevent a structure from failing.”

The article can be found at: Karimata et al. (2020) Highly Sensitive Mechano-controlled Luminescence in Polymer Films Modified by Dynamic Cui-based Cross-linkers.


Source: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.


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