Reviews & Previews
The Biological MindAlan JasanoffBasic Books, $30
At a small eatery in Seville, Spain, Alan Jasanoff had his first experience with brains — wrapped in eggs and served with potatoes. At the time, he was more interested in finding a good, affordable meal than contemplating the sheer awesomeness of the organ he was eating. Years later, Jasanoff began studying the brain as part of his...
Scientists and journalists live for facts. Our methods may be very different, but we share a deep belief that by questioning, observing and verifying, we can gain a truer sense of how the world works.03/09/2018 - 10:20 Science & Society, Psychology
So when people question the scientific consensus on issues such as climate change, vaccine effectiveness or the safety of genetically modified organisms (SN: 2/6/16, p. 22), it’s no...
I know a lot of adults who don’t like to cook, but I’ve never met a child who doesn’t enjoy playing with a toy kitchen — or one who doesn’t want to help chop vegetables for dinner. Other versions of practical play: A cousin, at the age of just 4 or 5, asked for only one thing for Christmas — a snow brush. And on a beach trip last year, I witnessed a duo of 2-year-olds squealing with...02/07/2018 - 15:30 Science & Society, Psychology, Anthropology
Young children travel to fantasy worlds every day, packing just imaginations and a toy or two.
Some preschoolers scurry across ocean floors carrying toy versions of cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. Other kids trek to distant universes with miniature replicas of Star Wars robots R2-D2 and C-3PO. Throngs of youngsters fly on broomsticks and cast magic spells with Harry Potter and...
Letters to the Editor
Wanting more11/15/2017 - 13:17 Science & Society, Robotics, Psychology
For the third year in a row, Science News profiled 10 early- and mid-career innovators who are transforming their fields in “The SN 10: Scientists to watch” (SN: 10/14/17, p. 16).
The profiles left some readers inspired, intrigued and wanting to know more about these scientists’ research.
“Really enjoying these portraits, thanks, SN!” online reader Maia commented...
For more than a decade, psychology has been contending with some of its research findings going up in smoke. Widely publicized attempts to replicate major findings have shown that study results that scientists and the public took for granted might be no more than a statistical fluke. We should, for example, be primed for skepticism when studying priming. Power posing may be powerless.
A founding father of behavioral economics — a research school that has popularized the practice of “nudging” people into making decisions that authorities deem to be in their best interests — has won the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Richard Thaler, of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, received the award October 9 for being the leader of a discipline...
M. Ehsan Hoque, 35Computer scientistUniversity of Rochester10/04/2017 - 13:51 Computing, Technology, Psychology, Science & Society
A growing band of digital characters that converse, read faces and track body language is helping humans to communicate better with one another. While virtual helpers that perform practical tasks, such as dealing with customer service issues, are becoming ubiquitous, computer scientist M. Ehsan Hoque is at the forefront of a more...
Confusion over effects
No one knows whether chronic marijuana smoking causes emotional troubles or is a symptom of them.... This dearth of evidence has a number of explanations: serious lingering reactions, if they exist, occur after prolonged use, rarely after a single dose; marijuana has no known medical use, unlike LSD, so scientists have had little reason to study the drug…....
Here’s some heartbreaking news for people pinning their hopes on online matchmaking sites: It’s virtually impossible to forecast a love connection.
Maybe that’s not so shocking to survivors of the dating wars. But now science is weighing in. Extensive background data on two individuals — comparable to that collected by digital dating services — can’t predict whether that pair will...