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  • Centering justice as a benchmark of success in managed retreat

    Climate change is redefining the landscapes of risk across the globe. Rising seas, shoreline erosions, droughts, wildfires, and floods are intensifying patterns of displacements, migration, and relocation. About 18 million people are displaced by climate disasters annually. In 2020, amid a global pandemic, the number rose to 30 million . As many as… Read More
  • What is thought?

    The question of consciousness has captivated scientists and philosophers for hundreds of years. Despite advances in functional brain imaging and related technologies, the question is still unresolved. Two competing theories about the brain activity that gives rise to consciousness are the global neuronal workspace theory (GNWT) and the integrated i… Read More
  • COVID-19

    Continued discussion on the origin of COVID-19

    The origin of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the COVID-19 pandemic remains unresolved. Although many scientists believe that the likelihood of zoonotic transfer is far higher than a lab escape, the compromise report from the World Health Organization (WHO) did nothing to help resolve the controversy and probably ma… Read More
  • A new game for US economic prosperity

    Deborah Wince-Smith has been the president and chief executive officer of the Council on Competitiveness for 19 years. The Council recently released their latest report, “Competing in the Next Economy”, which offers a new perspective, compared with previous reports, by focusing more on the equitable distribution of the opportunities it seeks. I… Read More
  • Improving reproducibility

    Scientific progress relies on the validation of studies by other researchers. In 2017, a working group of publishers, editors, and academics formed to address how scientific journals could improve the reproducibility of life science research by applying the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines. As motivated in the statement below, t… Read More
  • COVID-19

    The best and worst of times for science reporting

    Happy 100th birthday, science journalism! It’s hard to say when popular writing about science really began—surely centuries ago—but Deborah Blum’s editorial in this week’s Science identifies as good a start as any for science journalism as a profession: the founding in 1921 of Science Service, a collaboration between a scientist and a new… Read More
  • COVID-19

    A conversation with Juliette Kayyem

    Juliette Kayyem is well known from her frequent appearances on CNN and her roles in Homeland Security in the Obama administration. I interviewed her for a recent editorial on lessons for science communication from the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some further highlights from our conversation. Holden Thorp: What I’ve been writing about this year i… Read More
  • COVID-19

    A draft of history, a template for the future

    This week’s issue of Science includes a remarkable editorial from Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, that could serve as a first draft of history related to the development of the messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines. His commentary touches on two policy priorities that have reached an infle… Read More
  • Academia must face anti-Asian bigotry

    This week’s issue includes an Editorial from Jennifer Lee and Tiffany Huang at Columbia University that addresses the devastating situation in the United States around anti-Asian violence and bigotry. Lee and Huang are sociologists who work toward “advancing new democratic narratives of Asian Americans, and placing the study of Asian Americans… Read More
  • No Senator, it’s not theater

    I grew up in the theater. My mom ran the community theater in my hometown and I was the de facto operations person. Theater is a very specific activity. There’s a script, there’s a production plan, and there are deep psychodynamics brought out through dialogue. Theater gives us important ideas and characters like Arthur Miller’s… Read More