Variables

 
Reported features, essays, op-eds, columns, and reviews.

Education and Automation: Tools for Navigating a Sea of Fake News

“Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him,” Ernest Hemingway once said. “It also should have a manual drill and a crank handle in case the machine breaks down.” Fifty years later, the need is greater than ever. Can software tools help when all else fails?

Trump and the Social Psychology of Prejudice

Social and psychological research suggests that individual expressions of prejudice depend highly on perceived social norms. After a bitter campaign in which Donald Trump disparaged numerous social and ethnic groups, his ascension to the White House has almost certainly shifted those norms.

The Claws Come Out

Peter Marra’s new book, “Cat Wars,” makes a convincing case that unconfined felines are taking a major toll on wildlife — and putting the growing ranks of cat lovers and bird lovers on an ugly collision course. The war — call it Big Cat vs. Big Bird — is on. And right now, we’re all losing.

Unsung: William Claytor

Largely unknown to the broader public, William Claytor — only the third African American to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics — typifies both the importance of peer mentoring in advancing the careers of people of color, and the tragic legacy of institutional racism that no amount of mentoring could overcome.

Warning: This Lab May Cause Injury or Death

Many of the hundreds of thousands of aspiring and early-career scientists — students, postdocs, and technicians — who labor in the labs, shops, and field stations of the nation’s universities appear to spend their days in an environment plagued by risks that are well known, yet uncorrected.

Blind Rage and the Killing at Carderock

In 2013, David DiPaolo was seen arguing with his longtime climbing partner, Geoff Farrar, near a popular span of cliffs outside of Washington, D.C. Before the day was out, DiPaolo would bludgeon Farrar to death with a hammer in an apparent fit of rage. What makes a brain snap, and does biology play a role?

The Therapist is a Cop

The Albuquerque police and the University of New Mexico medical school set up a videoconferencing network to help officers deal with people with mental illness. The system could help address a nationwide problem: Far too often, police are responders of last resort, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

NASW Has Changed. Its Leadership Policy Should Too.

This weekend, members of the National Association of Science Writers will confront a fundamental question: Are we, in fact, a national association of science writers, as our name and diverse membership imply, or are we a national association of science journalists, as many among our ranks suggest?

The Struggle of the Bighorn

A deadly bacteria, passed on from contact with domestic sheep, has been killing bighorns since the 19th century. Officials continue to scramble to stop its spread through large-scale killing of sick animals and enforced separations of domestic and wild herds. No one seems happy with these solutions.

Furry Animals, Fuzzy Science

Turning college team mascots into icons of wildlife conservation seems like a winning strategy, but there is surprisingly little science to suggest that it can really help to protect species — particularly those that are critically endangered. Still, a growing number of schools are giving it a go.

Up for Grabs

Donald Trump has denied allegations that he sexually assaulted women. But his recorded boasts about grabbing them — along with his response and that of his supporters to criticisms of such behavior — confirms research suggesting a profound lack of consensus in our culture about what sexual assault looks like.

Flying In, Flying Away

Melting ice means that bird species of the North Atlantic and North Pacific — separated for millennia by a frozen sea too large and bereft of food to cross — now have a passage between oceans. Their migrations suggest unprecedented shifts in the native ecosystem of the Chukchi Sea, and the globe.

Top