Staff »

BEN BOVA

Contact: | Send BEN an email

Recent Work

  • Ben Bova: Missile defense, priceless Published 04/24/2009 at 4:08 p.m.

    Does anybody in Washington understand the real world? North Korea just lobbed a ballistic missile halfway across the Pacific Ocean and the Obama administration is talking about reducing funding for our ballistic missile defense program. That doesn’t make sense.

  • Ben Bova: The meaning of 'strategic bombing' Published 04/18/2009 at 5:02 p.m.

    I don’t always read the newspaper’s letters to the editor. I remember the poet Robert Frost commenting once, “I get a lot of criticism, but I don’t read it.” However, a couple of recent letters dealing with the matter of ...

  • Ben Bova: Science is so important to us, yet so unappreciated Published 04/11/2009 at 6:30 p.m.

    I don’t think there can be any doubt science is one of the major driving forces in our world.

  • Ben Bova: Cleaning up after ourselves in space Published 03/28/2009 at 6:01 p.m.

    It’s getting crowded up there. Last month, two orbiting satellites smashed into one another nearly 500 miles above Siberia, shattering both the satellites and spraying more than 600 chunks of debris that now pose a danger to other satellites, including ...

  • Ben Bova: If only we could agree, we could 'fix' our climate Published 03/23/2009 at 12:19 p.m.

    Back in 1897, Charles Dudley Warner wrote, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” You could say the same thing about the global-warming debate: a lot of talk, not much action.

  • Ben Bova: Classic films have something to say Published 03/14/2009 at 6 p.m.

    A couple of nights before the Academy Awards, my sharp-witted wife and I were having dinner with friends at Ristorante Amore, one of the best eateries in Naples. Naturally, our conversation was about the movies. We started talking about our ...

  • Ben Bova: Now, about Mars ... Published 03/07/2009 at 6 p.m.

    On Mars, something that smells bad is looking good to astrobiologists. Meanwhile, on Earth, a major corporation is ready to sell solar-electric panels for your home, and desert plants in Arizona are telling us that global warming is indeed changing ...

  • Ben Bova: Stem-cell therapy Published 01/31/2009 at 7 p.m.

    Geron Corp. has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct the first-ever trial of medical treatment using embryonic stem cells. Geron plans to use stem-cell therapy in up to 10 patients to treat spinal-cord injuries.

  • Ben Bova: Why argue over global warming? Published 01/24/2009 at 7 p.m.

    I expect to get questions about global warming from the audience at this afternoon’s “Salute to Ben Bova” at the dome of the Figge Conservatory at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts. Despite overwhelming evidence, many people just refuse to ...

  • Ben Bova: Will Obama say anything at inaugural that we'll remember? Published 01/17/2009 at 7:02 p.m.

    Over the 220 years since George Washington first took the oath of office, our incoming presidents have said some very fine things in their inaugural addresses. When Barack Obama is inaugurated Tuesday, what will he say? Will it be memorable ...

  • Ben Bova: Clearly, my training was key Published 01/10/2009 at 7:01 p.m.

    Working for a newspaper can be a great education. George Paravicini, my 10th-grade English teacher, started me newspapering. We had to write an essay in his class; when he returned mine (with an A!) he suggested that I come out ...

  • Ben Bova: May we be as resourceful as Faraday in 2009 Published 01/03/2009 at 7 p.m.

    We’re starting a new year, a time of new beginnings. In a couple of weeks we’ll have a new president. Great oaks, as they say, come from tiny acorns. And enterprises of great pith and merit (to crib a line ...

  • Ben Bova: Before asking for your trust, should politicians earn a living? Published 11/24/2007 at 7:05 p.m.

    Here’s a question to ask your political candidate of choice: How much have you added to this nation’s gross domestic product? I’m not talking merely about candidates for president. This is a question that should be asked of any candidate, ...

  • Ben Bova: What should America do while Castro fades away? Published 08/13/2006 at midnight

    Fidel Castro's long reign in Cuba seems to be coming to an end. What happens next? Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959, overthrowing the right-wing dictator Fulgencio Battista, to establish a Communist "people's democracy." His revolution against Battista's ...

  • Ben Bova: NASA has given us much more than moon rocks and Tang Published 08/06/2006 at midnight

    What has NASA done for you lately? Aside from returning a few hundred pounds of rocks from the moon, and enabling scientists to explore the universe in more detail than ever before, what has our investment in space produced for ...

  • Ben Bova: 'Memoir' and memories of my old friend Isaac Asimov Published 07/30/2006 at 12:12 a.m.

    Memory is a funny thing. You can go along for days, months, even years without thinking about a certain person, and then some little happening will trigger a flood of memories that cascades over your emotions.

  • Ben Bova: Are we losing control over the tools we've created? Published 07/23/2006 at 12:12 a.m.

    In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, director Stanley Kubrick and writer Arthur C. Clarke ask a subtle question: Are our tools controlling us? It's an important question. The major factor that separates us from the rest of the animals ...

  • Ben Bova: Now, more than ever, we need missile defense Published 07/16/2006 at midnight

    I hate to say I told you so. But, well, I did. Now politicians and pundits from Tokyo to Toledo are hoping we can shoot down North Korea's ballistic missiles. The concept of missile defense is suddenly a hot topic ...

  • Ben Bova: Elected to Fight Club forever — or Congress? Published 07/09/2006 at 12:13 a.m.

    There’s a growing sense of unease among the voting public. Like me (and you, I’m sure) many people look on the increasingly nasty partisan politics in Washington with enormous dissatisfaction. Instead of getting the job done, politicians on both sides ...

  • Ben Bova: Even we experts can get it wrong ... am I right? Published 07/02/2006 at midnight

    There's an ancient conundrum that runs, "All lawyers are liars. I am a lawyer. What am I?" That old saw came to mind when I started thinking about this column, which is about how experts are often wrong in their ...

  • Ben Bova: Losing a job is just a part of working Published 06/25/2006 at midnight

    A friend of mine was "downsized" recently, meaning that she lost her job. I tried to cheer her up by telling her that everybody gets canned at least once in a career. It's happened to me. Of course, my career ...

  • Ben Bova: Some good news from the world of science, and some bad news Published 06/18/2006 at midnight

    I have good news and bad news. First the good news. Researchers have found a strain of laboratory mouse that appears to be immune to cancer.

  • Ben Bova: Once bitten, fans can never get enough of beloved Sox Published 06/11/2006 at midnight

    You can't live in the Boston area for fifteen minutes without becoming a Red Sox fan. It's part of the air, I guess. Come spring, once the last hump of snow has melted from the parking lots, everybody breathes in ...

  • Ben Bova: We're learning more about Mars Published 06/04/2006 at midnight

    There's a delicate ballet going on around the planet Mars. After a seven-month journey from Earth, a robotic spacecraft is now looping around the red planet, dipping into its thin atmosphere to slow itself down so that it can eventually ...

  • Ben Bova: Why don't we take action when we know there's a crisis looming? Published 05/28/2006 at midnight

    People usually don't react to a problem until it approaches the proportions of a disaster. Jefferson made reference to this in the Declaration of Independence:"All experience hath shown," he wrote, "that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are ...

  • Ben Bova: There are no easy answers in nation's immigration debate Published 05/21/2006 at midnight

    I wish I could find a simple, clear answer to the problem of illegal immigration. The dilemma has many facets to it, and I suspect that the solutions that Congress eventually passes will, at best, address only part of the ...

  • Ben Bova: Kids today don't know what good music is Published 05/14/2006 at midnight

    Maybe I'm showing my age, but whatever happened to romantic pop music? Judging by the noises coming out of over-amped car radios, pop music today is anything but romantic. It seems to be all boom and thud; women are referred ...

  • Ben Bova: Is a sugar-free landscape the answer to red tide? Published 04/30/2006 at midnight

    A couple of years ago, I suggested that agricultural runoff from the sugar farms below Lake Okeechobee was a major contributor to the red tide algal blooms that bedevil our beaches in Southwest Florida.

  • Ben Bova: Is all this exercise supposed to be good for my health? Published 04/23/2006 at midnight

    In the wonderful musical comedy, "My Fair Lady," Liza Doolittle's reprobate father, Alfred P., sings: "They're always throwing goodness at you, but with a little bit of luck, a man can duck." Well, not always.

  • Ben Bova: Debate over who pays for what is just getting started Published 04/16/2006 at midnight

    Here's a complaint you may have heard: "They come here to take advantage of what we have. They don't want to pay taxes, they make all sorts of demands on our community systems, they complain about us yet they refuse ...

  • Ben Bova: Polluting trees not such a far-fetched idea Published 04/09/2006 at midnight

    Good old Ronald Reagan. Once derided as an aged, second-rate movie actor just pretending to be president, he's looking better with every passing year.

  • Ben Bova: Being a writer take more work than many think Published 04/02/2006 at midnight

    Air Force fliers often say that flying in the USAF consists of long hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. A writer’s life is something like that: Long hours, days, months of toil and drudgery, punctuated by moments ...

  • Ben Bova: Moon and Mars mission won't sidetrack scientists Published 03/26/2006 at midnight

    As Yogi Berra said, "It's déjà vu all over again." The president has put into action a program to place Americans on the moon within the next decade or so. NASA is gearing up to that job, and then (if ...

  • Ben Bova: College students refuse to honor a war hero Published 03/19/2006 at midnight

    Democracies have an ambivalent relationship with their war heroes. In wartime, we admire and honor them. In between wars, we tend to neglect them and even be embarrassed by their exploits.

  • Ben Bova: Southwest Florida intelligence? You decide Published 03/12/2006 at midnight

    In fiction, it's the spies who get all the credit. Espionage agents are depicted as glamorous, their lives full of adventure. Think James Bond.

  • Ben Bova: Inspiration for aspiring writers is everywhere Published 03/05/2006 at midnight

    New writers often ask, "Where do you get your ideas?" I usually reply that ideas are the easi est part of writing. The air is filled with ideas. Just look around you: Every person you meet is a potential character ...

  • Ben Bova: What was so important that you didn't vote? Published 02/26/2006 at midnight

    Fellow citizens of Naples: You are lazy. In the election held on Feb. 7, an election that determined three of the five seats on the City Council and changed the city's charter in the matter of mayoral succession, just about ...

  • Ben Bova: Truth can be as strange as science fiction Published 02/12/2006 at 12:04 a.m.

    They're catching up to me. In 1949, I wrote my first science fiction novel. Its plot was so outlandish that no publisher would buy it. The story was based on the supposition that the Soviet Union places satellites and people ...

  • Ben Bova: Fights in the news have something in common Published 02/05/2006 at 12:05 a.m.

    "The land, Scarlett. The land." That's what Gerald O'Hara tells his daughter in "Gone With the Wind." The land is what's important. The land is what's valuable. Always remember that someone who owns land can be rich, while those who ...

  • Ben Bova: Weather still hard to control Published 01/29/2006 at 12:01 a.m.

    While the Gulf Coast was pounded with hurricanes last year, the southwestern part of the United States continued to suffer in the grip of a long, many-year drought. This has led some people to think about how we might actively ...

  • Ben Bova: When do we need government to step in? Published 01/22/2006 at midnight

    In 1776, two revolutionary documents were given to the world. One was the American Declaration of Independence, written mainly by Thomas Jefferson. The other was an economic treatise, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations," ...

  • Ben Bova: I've spent my life devoted to science Published 01/15/2006 at midnight

    In the back-and-forth over recent weeks between my columns and readers' letters to the editor, some questions have been raised about my background. So please forgive me for speaking openly about myself — I want to set the record straight.

  • Ben Bova: Evolution’s evidence is plain to see Published 01/08/2006 at midnight

    The ongoing debate between Darwinian evolution and Intelligent Design hinges on a vital question: Can we explain how living creatures originated and how their many intricately complex features came to be?

  • Ben Bova: Some things to get started on in 2006 Published 01/01/2006 at midnight

    The new year is upon us, and this makes us think about what lies ahead. Here are some thoughts on what I'd like to see in our future. I don't expect these things to come to fruition in 2006, but ...

  • Ben Bova: Christmas traces its origins to the heartbeat of our planet Published 12/25/2005 at midnight

    Long before writing was invented, probably before the beginnings of agriculture, men gazed at the stars. In those dark nights, before the first cities were built and when the skies were clear of man-made pollution, they watched those pinpoints of ...

  • Ben Bova: Another wartime Christmas Published 12/18/2005 at midnight

    It's hard to work up much Christmas jollity when American troops are being killed in Iraq. But this isn't the first Christmas when we've been involved in bloody war, and it probably won't be the last, unhappily.

  • Ben Bova: Intelligent design is intellectual surrender Published 12/11/2005 at midnight

    People who can't abide the fact that I've been criticizing the concept of intelligent design are calling for a debate on the subject. Well, we're having a debate right here in the pages of this newspaper.

  • Ben Bova: Some wishes during this Christmas season Published 12/04/2005 at midnight

    The Christmas season is upon us. People of all ages are making wish lists — in their minds, if not actually writing them down. So here's a brief list of some of my wishes.

  • Ben Bova: Arguments for intelligent design are unconvincing Published 11/27/2005 at midnight

    My column about intelligent design a couple of weeks ago sparked lots of responses from readers. One of those opposing my claim that ID is based on ignorance or fraud was once an aide to President Richard Nixon. I have ...

  • Ben Bova: Arguments for intelligent design are unconvincing Published 11/27/2005 at midnight

    My column about intelligent design a couple of weeks ago sparked lots of responses from readers. One of those opposing my claim that ID is based on ignorance or fraud was once an aide to President Richard Nixon. I have ...

Features