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Science

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Over the past 7 years, Mallory Lefland has worked in various capacities at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) — most recently on the MARS 2020 project that recently celebrated the successful landing of the Perseverance Rover and Ingenuity Helicopter on the red planet. The Press recently sat down with Lefland over Zoom to talk about her career, her ambitions and how it felt to be part of NASA’s latest Mars mission.

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For the first couple of weeks of my life as a vegetarian, I was set to never taste what I assumed was the unique savory profile of beef and fish ever again. But then I saw a strange ad at my community college cafeteria asking me to try the Impossible Burger. Alongside claims of carbon footprint reduction, it had a similar promise to a later ad for their Burger King outing: “Try it and don’t see the difference.” And at least for me, I can say that the Impossible Burger did the impossible successfully — it made a beef-like burger without any beef.

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In the centuries preceding the advent of what is now considered “modern science,” the study of nature and the physical universe was known as “natural philosophy.” The name itself implies an intimate connection between the sciences and philosophy. It begs the question: At what point did the two disciplines diverge?

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