Welcome to the last issue of the Yale Scientific’s 2014 masthead. Although this year flew by, we’ve accomplished a great deal. With the debut of our first issue, “Science and the Individual,” we kicked off the year in January with an investigative cover article on the global metal shortage, along with new photography and a revamped design. In “Man and Machine,” we went on to investigate robot teachers and autonomous drones. And in our latest issue, “Crime, Justice, and Science,” we zoomed in on topics like opiate addiction cryptography, and gender equality.
Each of our previous themes has raised tricky questions about science and society. With far-ranging implications in research, ethics, and policy, each scientific advance seems to invite more questions than it answers. And so, for our last issue of the year, it’s only fitting to close with yet another open-ended question—“Mysteries of the Mind.”
The human mind is perhaps one of the least understood entities in science. We have yet to grasp completely how our most sophisticated cognitive faculties come from a three-pound, wrinkly organ with about the same consistency as Jello. Even the definition of the mind is a moving target; ongoing debates about whether machines possess minds have drawn computer scientists and philosophers into the fray. In this final issue, we seek to explore— but not solve—just a few mysteries of the human mind: our sophisticated ability to detect shape and texture (pg. 9), the troubling symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder (pg. 12), and the surprising quirks of the dyslexic brain (pg. 18).
As we wrap up the 120th year of the Yale Scientific, I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone on the 2014 Masthead for their amazing work, along everyone else who has been involved—from the writers, artists, and photographers featured in both print and online articles, to the Synapse volunteers who led Science on Saturdays and made our second annual Resonance conference a reality. And finally, I’d like to thank the researchers at Yale and beyond, whose unanswered questions continue to inspire all the work that we do.
And so, here’s to the end of another successful year, and to you, our loyal readers. I hope that you’ll join us in celebrating the many years (and questions) to come.