Conviction upheld for Turkish scientist opposing headscarves

A Turkish astrophysicist faces two years of jail for forbidding access to a university building to a student wearing a headscarf. On Thursday, Ankara’s Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s verdict against Esat Rennan Pekünlü, an astronomer at Ege University in Izmir.  Read more

Cassini probe captures view of Earth from Saturn

Cassini probe captures view of Earth from Saturn

The blue dot on the centre-right of this photograph is us. This picture was taken by NASA’s Cassini probe on 19 July, while the spacecraft’s orbit took it into the shadow of Saturn — meaning that the Sun was eclipsed by the gas giant.  Read more

Report highlights development threats on Canadian watershed

Report highlights development threats on Canadian watershed

Without better governance, a robust science program, and stronger regulations for extractive industries and hydroelectric developments, Canada’s massive Mackenzie River Basin could continue to face destroyed landscapes and massive bills for environmental clean-ups, an international panel of experts warns in a report issued today.  Read more

French biotech sector shows lively signs in bad economy

PARIS – Despite the continuing economic crisis, the balance between start-ups and failures in the French life-science sector bounced back last year to the 2010 level, after tilting sharply in 2011. The number of new firms created in 2012 rose from 24 to 35 in 2011, and the number of closures fell from 25 to 14.  Read more

Mathematics prize ups the ante to $1 million

Mathematics prize ups the ante to $1 million

A billionaire businessman from Dallas, Texas, has sweetened the pot for a number theory prize that has remained unclaimed for 16 years. After putting up $5,000 in 1997 for a solution to the Beal conjecture, upped to $100,000 in 2000, Andrew Beal has now raised the stakes yet again to US$1 million, the American Mathematical Society announced today.  Read more