Science & the Public

Where scienceand society meet

  1. person in drug store
    Science & Society

    Online reviews can make over-the-counter drugs look way too effective

    Online patient reviews put a far more misleading spin on medications than clinical trials do.

  2. photo of police car
    Science & Society

    Data-driven crime prediction fails to erase human bias

    Software programs that predict where crimes will occur don’t eliminate bias; they exacerbate it.

  3. inclusive bathroom sign

    Transgender children are at greater risk of mental health problems

    The Trump administration has rescinded federal protections for transgender kids in public schools, a move that the American Academy of Pediatrics condemns.

  4. Jupiter's south pole

    Citizen scientists are providing stunning new views of Jupiter

    A camera aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft is giving citizen scientists a crack at discovering never-before-seen features of Jupiter.

  5. EPA Building
    Science & Society

    Trump administration clampdowns on research agencies worry scientists

    Mixture of bans on federal research communications create confusion and fear.

  6. illustration of brain as marionette

    You’ve probably been tricked by fake news and don’t know it

    In the fight against falsified facts, the human brain is both the weakest link and our only hope.

  7. Tech

    Obama worried about research funding

    Barack Obama offered yet another argument about why the current federal-budget stalemate is so risky: “[T]he sequester, as it’s known in Washington-speak — it’s hitting our scientific research.” As things now stand, “we could lose a year, two years of scientific research as a practical matter, because of misguided priorities here in this town.”

  8. Humans

    U.S. team breaks through subglacial lake

    At 5 a.m. local time today (January 28), U.S. researchers successfully completed boring a 30-centimeter-diameter hole through 800 meters of Antarctic ice, piercing into Lake Whillans. It’s one of a series of interconnected subglacial lakes that periodically fill and drain. Scientists estimate that the lake’s water, which flows beneath the Whillans Ice Stream, has not […]

  9. Tech

    Antarctic test of novel ice drill poised to begin

    Any day now, a team of 40 scientists and support personnel expects to begin using a warm, high pressure jet of water to bore a 30 centimeter hole through 83 meters of ice. Once it breaks through to the sea below, they’ll have a few days to quickly sample life from water before the hole begins freezing up again. It's just a test. But if all goes well, in a few weeks the team will move 700 miles and bore an even deeper hole to sample for freshwater life that may have been living for eons outside even indirect contact with Earth’s atmosphere.

  10. Humans

    This snowbird is really going SOUTH

    Many people of a certain age (like my folks) enjoy flying south to warmer climes when winter weather threatens. I’m also flying south this December — but not to warm up. As a guest of the National Science Foundation, I’ll be checking out summer in the really deep South: Antarctica. Temps expected at certain sites I’m scheduled to visit, such as the South Pole, threaten to surpass the worst that my hometown will encounter in the dead of winter.

  11. Animals

    Epidemic of skin lesions reported in reef fish

    A British-Australian research team has just found coral trout living on the south side of the Great Barrier Reef sporting dark skin raised, scablike, brown-black growths. Although the authors believe they’ve stumbled onto an epidemic of melanoma — a type of skin cancer — other experts have their doubts. Strong ones.

  12. Humans

    So long Weekly Reader . . .

    I read with sadness this week that Weekly Reader is about to disappear. As much as I’ll miss the idea of the venerable Weekly Reader living on, I also have to admit to a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. This conflict developed shortly after I joined the staff here. As soon as I identified my affiliation, people frequently asked: “Science News — hmmm: Isn’t that the Weekly Reader of science?”