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The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule safely splashed into the Gulf of Mexico near Florida yesterday, bringing its landmark mission to a successful close. This was the first time that a private company has put a human in orbit. Landing in the United States for the first time in almost a decade presented new challenges: some boaters disregarded Coast Guard warnings to stay clear of the landing site. “That capsule was in the water for a good period of time, and the boats just made a bee-line for it,” said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We need to do a better job next time for sure.” If all goes well, ‘next time’ will be soon: NASA has another crewed SpaceX launch planned for September.
Features & opinion
It’s been 40 years since physicist Klaus von Klitzing discovered the quantum Hall effect. It triggered a wave of ideas in condensed-matter physics and beyond, and set in motion the realization of our international system of units based on fundamental constants. von Klitzing and other physicists look back at the transformative experiment and explore how it continues to yield fresh insights and energize transdisciplinary collaborations.
Mathematicians and physicists worked together to understand the quantum Hall effect, notes an accompanying editorial in Nature. How they achieved this holds lessons for the way in which disciplines — not only those in the physical sciences — could more successfully engage with each other on common problems, argues the editorial.
Read the whole collection of Review, News and Commentary articles from various Nature Research journals celebrating the diverse legacy of this discovery.
Live feeds went dead, questions didn’t reach speakers and the virtual cocktail party fell a bit flat. Unexpected attendees included a cat and a three-year-old shouting “Daddy, Daddy”. Organizers admit that transforming the Human Genome Meeting from a physical to an online event in just three weeks made for a steep learning curve. Yet, despite some teething troubles, the virtual meeting attracted a larger number and a more diverse mix of attendees than it would have if it had taken place in Perth, Australia, as previously planned. Nature spoke to scientists involved in lockdown conferences to get their thoughts on how the global health crisis will change meetings.
Togolese bioscientist Rafiou Agoro’s early-career experiences in France and the United States inspired him to pay it forward to African scientists. With Guinean mathematician and computer scientist Mohamed Cissé, Agoro co-founded the African Diaspora Scientists Federation (ADSF) to support mentoring relationships and help African scientists to connect and collaborate with each other. “As a mentor, my hope is that the scientists I work with can learn from my successes and mistakes, follow their own path and reach their full potential,” writes Agoro. “We want to contribute to science in Africa, beyond the remittances we send home.”
It’s great to be back! Thanks to Emma Stoye and the news team for a wonderful week of Briefings while I was on holiday. Sadly, I was not able to accompany Leif to the Seychelles to bask among the coconuts, but I did lounge near some courgettes in my back garden.
Help me keep my holiday high going by sending me your feedback on this newsletter. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With contributions by Smriti Mallapaty