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  • Science Visualized

    Closing the gender gap in some science fields may take over 100 years

    If you’re a female computer scientist, you may not see an equal number of men and women working in your field in this century — or even the next one. It might take a whopping 280 years for that scientific discipline to bridge the gender gap, researchers report online April 19 in PLOS Biology.

    The study predicts when the gender gap will close in science, technology, engineering, math and...

    04/20/2018 - 13:19 Science & Society
  • News

    Here’s why putting a missile defense system in space could be a bad idea

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A beefed-up missile defense system might seem like a good idea in a time of heightened nuclear tensions. But such enhancements could have dangerous consequences.

    The current U.S. missile defense system isn’t all it was cracked up to be, performing unreliably in tests, physicist and missile defense expert Laura Grego argued April 14 at a meeting of the American Physical...

    04/17/2018 - 11:52 Science & Society, Physics, Technology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Weird Math’ aims to connect numbers and equations to the real world

    Weird MathDavid Darling and Agnijo BanerjeeBasic Books, $27

    Weird Math sets out to “reveal the strange connections between math and everyday life.” The book fulfills that laudable goal, in part. At times, teenage math prodigy Agnijo Banerjee and his tutor, science writer David Darling, find ways to make complex math relatable, like linking chaos theory to weather forecasting and...

    04/16/2018 - 07:00 Numbers, Computing, Science & Society
  • News

    The Facebook data debacle may not change internet behavior

    If you’re not paying, you’re the product, so the saying goes. For years, Facebook users have known that they — or, more specifically, their data — make up the bulk of the goods the social media company leverages for profit.

    Then came news that London-based data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed an estimated 87 million Facebook profiles without permission and used that data for political...

    04/15/2018 - 07:00 Technology, Science & Society
  • Science & the Public

    An antiscience political climate is driving scientists to run for office

    The upwelling of science activism witnessed in last year’s March for Science led many to predict that a flood of scientists might leave the lab for the legislature. Now, on the eve of the second March for Science, a survey of the field suggests that’s the case.

    As many as 450 scientists-turned-politicians are throwing their hats into state, local, and federal campaigns, according to 314...

    04/13/2018 - 16:03 Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    How many scientists do you know in real life?

    The death of physicist Stephen Hawking on March 14 at age 76 sparked a global outpouring of admiration. In our appreciation, Science News physics writer Emily Conover calls him “a black hole whisperer who divined the secrets of the universe’s most inscrutable objects." He was also among the very few cosmologists (hello, Carl Sagan) to have written an international best seller; Hawking...
    04/05/2018 - 07:53 Science & Society, Physics
  • Essay

    How physicists will remember Stephen Hawking

    Stephen Hawking, a black hole whisperer who divined the secrets of the universe’s most inscrutable objects, left a legacy of cosmological puzzles sparked by his work, and inspired a generation of scientists who grew up reading his books.

    Upon Hawking’s death on March 14 at age 76, his most famous discovery — that black holes aren’t entirely black, but emit faint...

    04/03/2018 - 12:18 Physics, Science & Society
  • Reviews & Previews

    How past disasters can help us prepare for the future

    The Big OnesLucy JonesDoubleday, $26.95

    People call Lucy Jones the “earthquake lady.” For nearly 40 years, Jones, a seismologist, has been a leading voice in California on earthquake science and safety. A few months after retiring from the U.S. Geological Survey in 2016, she founded the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society to bring policy makers and scientists together to...

    03/25/2018 - 08:00 Science & Society, History of Science, Earth
  • Science Ticker

    New spending bill mostly boosts money for science research

    After some initial waffling, President Trump signed a budget bill March 23 that lays out spending details for the rest of fiscal year 2018, which goes through September. The $1.3-trillion spending deal boosts funding for nearly all science agencies, avoiding cuts the White House had proposed.

    These increases stem largely from February’s budget deal, which raised caps on discretionary...

    03/23/2018 - 18:35 Science & Society
  • News

    Why science still can’t pinpoint a mass shooter in the making

    Immediately after a 19-year-old shot and killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day, people leaped to explain what had caused the latest mass slaughter.

    By now, it’s a familiar drill: Too many readily available guns. Too much untreated mental illness. Too much warped masculinity. Don’t forget those shoot-’em-up video games and movies. Add (or...

    03/23/2018 - 11:46 Science & Society, Psychology, Mental Health