The St Andrews Prize for the Environment of the University of St Andrews recognizes and supports innovative and inspirational responses to environmental challenges. In 2023, Jesse Ausubel joined the jury, which awarded the $100,000 2023 prize to Alianza Ceibo for their Indigenous-led effort for protection of the Upper Amazon Rainforest.
A stalwart member of the International Scientific Steering Committee of the Census of Marine Life, Vera Alexander passed away at the age of 90 in Fairbanks AK in May. The Arctic Research Consortium US earlier offered this informative tribute.
Jesse worked closely with Vera during the Census of Marine Life from 1999-2010 and offers this remembrance of The Many Contributions of Vera Alexander.
Published Open Access in Frontiers in Epidemiology: The Coronavirus Calendar (CoronaCal): a simplifiedSARS-CoV-2 test system for sampling and retrospective analysis by Manija A. Kazmi, David S. Thaler, Karina C. Åberg, Jordan M. Mattheisen, Thomas Huber and Thomas P. Sakmar
The paper concludes that sampling saliva on simple paper provides a useful method to study the natural history and epidemiology of COVID-19 (and probably many other microbes). The “CoronaCal” collection and testing method is easy to implement, inexpensive, non-invasive and scalable. The approach can inform the historical and epidemiological understanding of infections in individuals and populations.
The idea for the paper arose from efforts in the Leonardo Da Vinci DNA Project about stable preservation of genetic material on paper.
Based on Jesse’s Nierenberg Prize lecture, Jesse and Alan Curry, who led research on human performance enhancement for the Program for the Human Environment for several years, have created a compact version with about half the visual exhibits in the lecture. We retain the title “Peak Human? Thoughts on the Evolution of the Enhancement of Human Performance.” Thanks to Dale Langford for editorial assistance and the beautiful layout.
Jesse’s niece, Ramona Ausubel, has published a novel, The Last Animal, about a woolly mammoth starting a modern life. A companion essay, Science and Fiction Are Experiments That Ask the Same Question, interleaves some exchanges involving Ramona and Jesse.
Cesare Marchetti passed away this morning in Tuscany just short of his 96th birthday. After meeting Cesare in 1978, Jesse Ausubel became fascinated with Cesare’s ideas about the importance and ubiquity of processes of growth and diffusion captured often in simple form by Lotka-Volterra equations and subsequently coded in our Loglet Lab software. In the early 1980s Jesse began assisting Cesare on some projects and subsequently worked together on subjects ranging from electricity to travel to human populations and empires (see below). And of course Leonardo Da Vinci.
Cesare is best known for Marchetti’s Constant that posits that the human time budget for travel is a little above one hour per day, since ever and everywhere, because anthropologically rooted in the dangers homo sapiens faces when outside a protected environment.
Cesare was one of the inventors of geoengineering. His most cited paper is On geoengineering and the CO2 problem (1977).
Around 1970 he was also one of the inventors of the hydrogen economy as described in this 1973 paper: Hydrogen and energy.
Cesare’s explorations of Leonardo are here.
Our group at The Rockefeller University always greatly enjoyed hosting Cesare in New York City, and he reciprocated with marvelous hospitality in Monteloro.
Our joint efforts included:
C Marchetti, JH Ausubel. Quantitative Dynamics of Human Empires [Color Booklet Version, 52 pages]. Adapted from Marchetti and Ausubel, International Journal of Anthropology 27(1-2):1-62, 2012. 2013
JH Ausubel, C Marchetti. Science, Conquering Child of the Church . 2003 Draft prepared for Next 1000 Years meeting, 9-10 October 2003
C Marchetti, JH Ausubel. The Next 1000 Years. 2003 Discussion paper for April 2003 Rockefeller U workshop
JH Ausubel, C Marchetti. The Evolution of Transport. The Industrial Physicist 7 (2): 20–24, 2001
JH Ausubel, C Marchetti, PS Meyer. Toward Green Mobility: The Evolution of Transport European Review 6 (2): 143–162, 1998
JH Ausubel, C Marchetti. Elektron: Electrical Systems in Retrospect and Prospect Pp. 110–134 in Technological Trajectories and the Human Environment, J.H. Ausubel and H.D. Langford, (eds.). Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997 Also appeared in Daedalus 125(3):139-169, Summer 1996.
C Marchetti, PS Meyer, JH Ausubel. Human Population Dynamics Revisited with the Logistic Model: How Much Can Be Modeled and Predicted? Pp. 1–30 in Technological Forecasting and Social Change vol. 53, 1996.
Requiescat in pace.
The Winter 2023 issue of the Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences publishes “The Search for Leonardo’s Genome” by Jesse Ausubel. Based on Jesse’s June 2022 talk, this version omits the citations included in Jesse H. Ausubel, The Search for Leonardo’s Genome, Human Evolution 37 (3-4): 221-228, 2022.
For almost 30 years, thanks to Perrin Meyer, Jason Yung, David Burg, and now Albert Strusberg, we have developed and maintained a software package for analyzing logistic wavelets and logistic substitution, LogletLab.
LogletLab 5, now in beta version, offers new web-based features for single and multiple logistics. We welcome feedback. We plan in the spring to release 5.1 with more fitting algorithms and also logistic substitution.