As I've gotten busier, and my life has moved online, I've let most of my magazine subscriptions lapse. All except for National Geographic, which both my husband and I continue to enjoy each month.
With its storied history, familiar yellow cover, knock-your-socks-off photography and carefully crafted science and social science features, I consider it a good use of precious paper (and pennies).
So I was psyched to hear that Stanford's own Manu Prakash, PhD, has been named by the publication as one of 14 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorers. Prakash is most well-known for the Foldscope, a low-cost paper microscope that has been sent to 130 countries, but he's also working on constructing a small-scale chemistry kit and on a variety of other projects. As summarized in a National Geographic article, he "specializes in what he calls 'frugal science,' designing inexpensive laboratory instruments that can spread science and medical opportunity around the world."
Thanks to the Explorers program, he'll gain $10,000 to support his research and a year in the international spotlight. As indicated in the article, expectations of him and the other winners are high:
"Our Emerging Explorers are inspiring young visionaries who are looking at ways to remedy global problems and are undertaking innovative research and exploration," said Terry Garcia, National Geographic's chief science and exploration office. "They will help lead a new age of discovery."
Here's to looking forward to year of innovative "frugal sciences" creations from the Prakash lab.
Previously: Microscopes for the masses: How a Stanford bioengineer is helping everyone "think like scientists", Miniature chemistry kit brings science out of the lab and into the classroom or field, Stanford bioengineer among Popular Science magazine's "Brilliant 10", Manu Prakash on how growing up in India influenced his interests as a Maker and entrepreneur and Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope
Photo, of Manu Prakash and a group of children in Nigeria, courtesy of Prakash