.Back to listing

Fri, May 02

Basic science finds corporate refuge

Microsoft makes Windows, Word and the Xbox. But it also employs scientists who make sensors to stick on the hides of elephants and rhinoceroses. The sensors enable aerial drones to track endangered animals and record changes in their movements that might signify threats, says Lucas Joppa, a conservation biologist at Microsoft’s research centre in Cambridge, UK. Joppa uses these massive, complex data sets to inform possible conservation solutions, such as systems that warn responders about poaching. He publishes his research freely. “I get to do world-class science, but I also get to interact with one of the world’s most successful businesses,” he says. Read more.