Joseph O’Rourke
O’ROURKE AND LAWRENCE: Remembering Zach Brunt ’15

We were supposed to fly today. At Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, undergraduates from around the country are currently preparing to perform myriad science […]

O’ROURKE: Why ask big questions?

This weekend, abandoning my problem sets and senior thesis, I crashed the birthday party of a complete stranger. After introductions, we talked for hours about […]

O’ROURKE: Stop assassinating scientists

Americans and Israelis agree that Iran must not develop a nuclear weapon. But while virtually all credible American experts support crippling economic sanctions as the […]

O’ROURKE: More politics in science

Scientists tend to dream big but work small. Achieving a lofty but distant goal such as understanding the history of life might involve spending months […]

O’ROURKE: Sex in space

Pity the columnist forced to publish on Valentine’s Day. My loyal readers don’t usually expect insightful commentary on love and related matters; after all, my […]

O’ROURKE: Moon base not so crazy

Newt Gingrich’s up and down campaign to be the GOP presidential nominee is likely to flame out today in Florida. After unexpectedly dominating the South […]

O’ROURKE: NASA is still a go

My friends and family keep throwing cold water on my passion for space exploration. They believe news reports that President Obama cancelled the human spaceflight […]

O’ROURKE: Why Yale isn’t Penn State

Last week, a horrendous scandal rocked Pennsylvania State University as the football team’s former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested and charged with sexually abusing […]

O’ROURKE: The BEST Project isn’t the best climate science

Because scientific problems have grown incredibly complex, the public must trust conclusions from small groups of experts. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) team recently […]

Counterpoint: Back to Hades, Pluto

Eminent astrophysicists received unprecedented attention from schoolchildren in 2006. Unfortunately, the attention consisted of an astonishing volume of hate mail. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) […]