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As 2020 has come to a close, it is time to reflect on those who’ve left us over the past 12 months. It was, of course, a year filled with immense challenges related to the coronavirus, politics, racial injustice, climate change, and more. But there were triumphs as well, and one in particular — the unprecedented speedy development of vaccines aimed at halting a raging pandemic — has reminded us of the critical importance of both basic and applied research. …


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Nancy Grace Roman signs copies of a Lego set featuring her likeness in November 2017. Photo: Lego Ideas

We have lost a giant of astronomy. Nancy Grace Roman, a pioneering scientist who developed the astronomy program at NASA and was long considered the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in launching the groundbreaking Hubble Space Telescope into orbit, died on the morning of Dec. 25 at age 93.

I was introduced to Nancy Grace in 2015 by a mutual friend, my former high school science teacher and longtime UMass Boston professor Arthur Eisenkraft. Based on everything he’d told me about Nancy Grace — that she was determined to go into astronomy at a time when, in her words…


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Dear LEGO,

I am writing to ask you to reconsider your decision not to allow my custom-designed set, “Legal Justice League,” to compete in the LEGO Ideas contest.

I was disappointed to receive word on March 5th that the set would not be eligible for LEGO Ideas. As you are no doubt aware, official arbiters deemed the entry in violation of the contest’s prohibition on “politics and political symbols, campaigns, or movements,” and I was sent a form email with no further guidance as to the specific offense. In the wake of this response, I did as your notice suggested…

Maia Weinstock

@MIT News deputy editorial director; @LegoNASAwomen creator; author of CARBON QUEEN, forthcoming from @mitpress ; champion of women. Tweets = my views. She|he

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