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Articles on Essential Reads

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The Supreme Court is deciding a case on whether, and how, universities may consider an applicant’s race when making admissions decisions. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

What is affirmative action, anyway? 4 essential reads

Scholars explain what affirmative action is – and isn’t – as well as what its effects are, and why, among others, the military has supported it for decades.
People volunteer at a Native Alaskan voting station on Nov. 2, 2022 in Anchorage. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

What’s at stake this Election Day – 7 essential reads

Voter demographics and policy priorities are two recurrent, big issues on Election Day – but shifts in election administration and voting laws are new challenges influencing the midterms.
A county clerk, far left, swears in a group of Nevada residents to conduct a hand count of ballots on Oct. 26, 2022. AP Photo/Gabe Stern

How to ensure election integrity and accuracy – 3 essential reads

Amid discussion of how best to conduct and tally a hotly contested election that is potentially subject to nefarious meddling, three experts explain the basics.
Voting at home by mail can be very convenient – and safe from concerns about COVID-19. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

So you want to vote by mail – 5 essential reads

Voting by mail is safe from fraud and manipulation, is backed by people across the political spectrum and can be more convenient for many voters.
The U.S. BRAIN Initiative seeks to elucidate the connection between brain structure and function. Science Photo Library - PASIEKA/Brand X Pictures via Getty Images

Illuminating the brain one neuron and synapse at a time – 5 essential reads about how researchers are using new tools to map its structure and function

From figuring out where memories are stored to how sensory information translates to behavior, new technologies are helping neuroscientists better understand how the brain works.
The way heat and humidity affect people depends on factors like the weather that’s typical where they are. Hans Huber/Westend61 via Getty Images

Hot and getting hotter – 5 essential reads on high temps and human bodies

After the announcement of President Biden’s heat initiative, The Conversation revisits stories on high summer temperatures and human health.
Title IX protects students from sex-based discrimination in schools that get funding from the federal government. MediaNews Group/Getty Images

What is Title IX? 4 essential reads

Scholars discuss topics that are related to Title IX, such as sexual misconduct on college campuses and bans on transgender athletes in high school sports.
Schoolteachers are reporting high levels of burnout. AP Photo/David Goldman

Teacher burnout hits record high – 5 essential reads

With teachers reporting record-high levels of burnout, and more burnout than any other profession in the US, scholars examine what’s going on and what it may mean for education.
Millions of U.S. children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years will soon be eligible for COVID-19 shots. FatCamera/E+ via Getty Images

At last, COVID-19 shots for little kids – 5 essential reads

The FDA’s authorization of COVID-19 shots for children ages 6 months to 4 years will bring relief for millions of parents. Pending CDC endorsement, shots for this group will be available within days.
Photographing a bear in Yellowstone National Park at a distance the National Park Service calls safe – at least 100 yards from a predator. Jim Peaco, NPS/Flickr

Making room for wildlife: 4 essential reads

The recent goring of a tourist who approached within 10 feet of a bison in Yellowstone National Park is a reminder that wild animals can be dangerous and people should keep safe distances.

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