aerial view of the Amazon river

The Sky Above, The Earth Below

Spring 2009 | Volume VIII, Number 3

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

Legacy of Charles Darwin

Teaching Evolution

Teaching Evolution

English + Español
During the 19th century, philosophers, doctors, botanists, and zoologists in Mexico engaged in lively debate over Darwin’s ideas about evolution of the species. The Catholic Church hierarchy …

Darwin and Digital Code

Darwin and Digital Code

During World War II, Bell Telephone Laboratories worked on the problem of secure voice communications for the United States Army. In 1943, they launched the SIGSALY system…

Darwin, Lizards, and Evolution

Darwin, Lizards, and Evolution

Much has been said about the life of Charles Darwin on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth and 150th anniversary of publication of his magnum opus, On the Origin of Species by…

The Voyages of Charles Darwin

The Voyages of Charles Darwin

We often forget that the most creative years of Charles Darwin’s life were passed in South America. For three years in the early 1830s, Darwin traveled extensively in Uruguay, Argentina…

The Legacy of Charles Darwin

The Legacy of Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin made six major expeditions in South America, and in doing so, changed the way human beings think about their world. In this section…

The Galápagos

Modern Day Problems

Modern Day Problems

On September 17, 1835, the HMS Beagle swung on her anchor and came to rest off Chatham Island in the Galápagos Islands. Charles Darwin later rowed ashore and, as he walked across the…

Conservation Finance

Conservation Finance

In early 2003, tourism in the Galápagos Islands was booming, one of the few bright spots in Ecuador’s sputtering economy. Yet small tour boat operators like Rocio Martínez de Malo and…

Voyages of Discovery

Fungi at the Ends of the Earth

Fungi at the Ends of the Earth

The southern reaches of South America, the uttermost part of the earth, have held special fascination and navigational importance for explorers since Magellan’s time. The names—Port…

Travels and Science in Brazil

Travels and Science in Brazil

English + Español
The Year of Darwin is barely under way, and among the avalanche of events and publications commemorating this great scientist’s life and works, a recent book has established…

In Dire Straits

In Dire Straits

In early 1968, while traveling as a Peace Corps Volunteer to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Ecuadoran navy supply boat B.A.E Calicuchima, I first read Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle…

Cosmic Visions

Astronomers in Mexico

Astronomers in Mexico

Why astronomy? And why in Mexico? Science is an international effort. Newton’s law of gravitation does not have nationality, says the philosopher. In actuality, however, nationality does…

The Sky Within Reach

The Sky Within Reach

In 2009 we celebrate the international year of astronomy and commemorate the work of Galileo Galilei, theorizing that the earth and the planets orbited around our sun. And now…

Views from Chile

An Astronomical Scene

An Astronomical Scene

Where can you find an Italian professor teaching an American student in Spanish using lecture slides written in English? In the astronomy course I took at Chile’s Pontifícia Universidad Católica (PUC)…

Heaven Above

Heaven Above

Lasers, silicon-based light detectors, supercomputers, and giant glass disks all contribute to new techniques for astronomers to discover the properties of our universe. But one of the most…

Making a Difference

Book Talk

Other Cities, Other Worlds

Other Cities, Other Worlds

Author of a marvelous book that excavates the palimpsests of memories encrypted in the image-filled voids of Berlin, Andreas Huyssen extends his investigation of the urban imaginary in…