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  • Nudge
  • Handguns at a gun show in Las Vegas
  • Pluto
Your search has returned 39 articles:
  • Feature

    Nudging people to make good choices can backfire

    Nudges are a growth industry. Inspired by a popular line of psychological research and introduced in a best-selling book a decade ago, these inexpensive behavior changers are currently on a roll.

    Policy makers throughout the world, guided by behavioral scientists, are devising ways to steer people toward decisions deemed to be in their best interests. These simple interventions don’t...

    03/08/2017 - 08:00 Psychology, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Gun research faces roadblocks and a dearth of data

    Buying a handgun in Connecticut means waiting — lots of waiting. First comes an eight-hour safety course. Then picking up an application at a local police department. Review of the application (which includes a background check and fingerprinting) can take up to eight weeks. If approved, the state issues a temporary permit, which the buyer trades in at state police headquarters for a permanent...

    05/03/2016 - 15:00 Science & Society, Mental Health, Health
  • Science Ticker

    The wait for more Pluto data is almost over

    Get ready, we’re about to be inundated with postcards from Pluto. On September 5, the New Horizons spacecraft, now more than 62 million kilometers beyond Pluto, will begin a roughly year-long download of all the data it acquired during its brief visit with the dwarf planet in July. Only a few percent of that data was sent to Earth shortly after the encounter.

    It’s about time. Without new...

    09/04/2015 - 17:45 Planetary Science
  • News

    Mission to Pluto: Live coverage

    The New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT on July 14, 2015. Astronomy writer Christopher Crockett wrote several updates from mission control at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md., from July 12-15, and reviewed some of the mission's major milestones from the last several months. Check our Mission to Pluto editor’s pick for the latest on New Horizons...

    07/15/2015 - 17:39 Planetary Science
  • Feature

    Online causes may attract more clicks than commitments

    The Save Darfur Cause on Facebook had all the makings of a slam dunk cyber success. More than a million people joined the social media site’s digital movement a few years ago to save the people of Sudan’s Darfur region from mass slaughter.    

    There was a hitch in Facebook’s humanitarian giddy-up, though: The vast majority of people who enlisted in the Save Darfur Cause recruited no one...

    06/27/2014 - 14:04 Psychology, Networks, Science & Society
  • Feature

    The long and winding Colorado

    Standing on a mesa high above the town of Rifle, Colo., Andres Aslan is having a hard time staying quiet. The lanky geologist from nearby Colorado Mesa University normally speaks in a low-key professorial drone. But here, looking down at a sprawling river valley blazing with autumnal cottonwoods, his enthusiasm cranks up his volume. “This could be it,” says Aslan, gesticulating wildly. “This...

    01/10/2014 - 14:00 Earth, Planetary Science
  • Feature

    View to a cell

    Imagine if your best knowledge of human anatomy came from viewing the body through binoculars from a mile away. You might make out the shape of a hand, but knuckles and fingernails would elude you. Experiments could tell you there’s a pumping heart inside, but to see that heart with any clarity you would have to fix it in formaldehyde or liquid nitrogen, blast it with electrons and add dyes to...

    05/28/2013 - 16:22 Cells, Biophysics
  • Feature

    The Digital Camera Revolution

    Take a grainy, blurred image of a formless face or an illegible license plate, and with a few keystrokes the picture sharpens and the killer is caught — if you’re a crime-scene tech on TV. From Harrison Ford in Blade Runner to CSI, Criminal Minds and NCIS, the zoom-and-enhance maneuver has become such a staple of Hollywood dramas that it’s mocked with video montages on YouTube.

    ...
    01/13/2012 - 06:54
  • Feature

    Death of a Continent, Birth of an Ocean

    To those who live there, east Africa’s Afar region is “the place the devil plows.” One of the hottest and lowest areas on Earth, it is a landscape of baking desert and barren lava flows. To scientists, though, Afar means something more promising: geology in the raw.

    There, on the edge of Africa, the continent is splitting apart. Pulled inexorably by the...

    06/17/2011 - 10:30 Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    Breaking it Down

    Suppose there was a fourth little pig. This one was a physicist. Unlike his brother the engineer, who built a house out of tried-and-true bricks, the physicist pig chose a building material by doing calculations based on fundamental principles. He settled on a substance made from silicon and oxygen, an abundant material with high bond strength and the aesthetic bonus of transparency. It was...

    01/29/2010 - 14:02