If the goal is to communicate, why should the speaker bear all the burden?
It can be hard to understand a non-native speaker of your own language. But conversation is a two-way street and linguists are figuring out how native listeners can improve their half of the interaction.
Does a microchip implant have a deeper meaning?
Tiny electronic items can identify pets, clothes and even people. Evangelical Christians aren't the only people worried about what this technology might mean.
International forces advancing toward Boxer soldiers outside the Imperial Palace in Beijing, China, during the Boxer Rebellion.
Library of Congress
When is math not just math? Political conflicts have led to new study-abroad initiatives, the creation of a world-class university, the migration of mathematicians and serious educational reforms.
Which way does neurobiological evidence tip the scales in sentencing?
How do jurors use different kinds of information about mental illness when making sentencing decisions? An experiment finds that neurobiological evidence could harm or help defendants.
Scientific evidence is clear: Vaccination is good for people and society. Online discussions are increasingly reflecting that reality.
Social media activity suggests that pro-vaccine evidence may be starting to outweigh anti-vaxxer disinformation.
Some scientists think it’s time to hang up statistical significance.
Two prestigious journals have suggested abandoning the traditional test of the strength of a study's results. But a statistician worries that this would make science worse.
Drug discovery can get an assist from what nature’s already devised.
As antibiotic resistance increases globally, the heat is on to find new alternatives to treat infections. Chemists can get a head start by looking at compounds produced in nature by fishes' microbes.
A modern mouse lemur
Microcebus sits upon the cranium of an extinct Megaladapis lemur.
Dao Van Hoang www.daovanhoang.com
A series of new studies sheds light on the population crash and extinction of the giant birds, lemurs and more that roamed the island until around A.D. 700-1000.
What makes more sense: Sending a human or a robot to Mars?
As commercial spaceflight companies lower the cost of reaching space, nations can launch more missions. But while astronauts are great for whipping up enthusiasm, is a manned mission worth the cost?
The March 3, 2019, elections in Estonia were well-defended against anti-democracy influences.
AP Photo/Raul Mee
An Estonian cybersecurity leader explains how her country defends itself, its society and its elections from Russian interference.
During high-stress deadly epidemics, even well-trained responders can get caught up in behaviors that are more harmful than helpful.
AP Photo/Olivier Matthys
The high stress conditions of an outbreak can spread a dysfunctional culture among those working to fight it. A survey after the 2015 Ebola epidemic quantified the issue – and suggests a better way.
Consider the wisdom of the flock.
After Google suggested PigeonRank was at the root of its search function, a group of researchers put a small flock of the birds to a different classification test in real life.
How do people respond to media coverage of weather influenced by climate change?
AP Photo/Andy Newman
Media reports are starting to directly connect climate change to its weather effects in local communities. But how you respond to those linkages depends on what you already think about climate change.
Make a choice to see the next phase of the story.
As Netflix plans additional choose-your-own-adventure TV movies, a game designer explains how they're made and the long history of audience-directed fiction.
A seven-qubit quantum device at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Computers were once considered high-end technology, only accessible to scientists and trained professionals. Today, almost everyone has one. Will quantum computing follow the same path?
President Richard M. Nixon welcomes the Apollo 11 astronauts aboard the USS Hornet, the recovery ship for the mission, where they are quarantined. From left to right: Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin.
Objects left on the Moon are not just abandoned rockets and rovers. There is a lot of historic and sentimental memorabilia. Some of it hints at a mission that the first Moonwalkers almost forgot.
It’s difficult to track the spread of digital materials.
Social media companies struggle to identify and remove hate speech when it's posted. What can computer science reveal about how hate-filled texts and videos spread online?
Human pilots, surrounded by automation.
Pilots get lots of assistance from automation as it is. In the future, they'll get even more.
Modern cars are safer than this – but not because auto companies got more ethical.
Of course people need ethics. But the current troubles in the technology industry are not evidence of an ethics crisis; it is a public-policy crisis.
Will food laws change as more GM foods are created?
With Gottlieb's departure from the FDA imminent, what should we expect from the FDA? How is it likely to regulate the still controversial genetically engineered foods?
Facebook Live can be fun – or really scary.
Children can't handle watching livestreamed massacres – and adults shouldn't have to.
What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research?
Scientists and ethicists have called for a five-year moratorium on editing human genes that will pass on to future generations. Yes, society needs to figure out how to proceed – but is this the best way?
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt /Seán Doran
The Great Red Spot has remained an essentially constant feature of Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere for at least the past several hundred years. How can a storm persist for so long?
An investigator surveys wreckage at the site of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
The inquiries can take months of painstaking work, but often yield important insights that improve flight safety for everyone long into the future.
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
Your brain's sensory talents go way beyond those traditional five senses. A team of geoscientists and neurobiologists explored how the human brain monitors and responds to magnetic fields.