Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Light of every hue. davidd

Light technologies illuminate global challenges

During these dark winter months, spare a thought for artificial lights. From strings of lights adding holiday cheer to artificial sunlamps alleviating seasonal affective disorder, they brighten our days…
Families can fill up on more than food when they dine together. Dining image via www.shutterstock.com.

Science says: eat with your kids

As a family therapist, I often have the impulse to tell families to go home and have dinner together rather than spending an hour with me. And 20 years of research in North America, Europe and Australia…
Paper folding may look like art, but it’s all about the math. Mina

Origami: mathematics in creasing

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. One uncut square of paper can, in the hands of an origami artist, be folded into a bird, a frog, a sailboat, or a Japanese samurai helmet beetle. Origami…
OK you can trust this food label. But calories? Forget it. Bryan Kennedy

Why most food labels are wrong about calories

Food labels seem to provide all the information a thoughtful consumer needs, so counting calories should be simple. But things get tricky because food labels tell only half the story. A calorie is a measure…
What was the celestial body the three wise men followed 2,000 years ago? epSos.de

Can astronomy explain the biblical Star of Bethlehem?

The wise men were likely accomplished Greek astrologers, watching the stars for signs of a king’s birth. Technical terms used in the Bible’s description point to a real astronomical event.
Where would Confucius place the balance between environmental conservation and economic development today? Kevinsmithnyc

Confucian thought and China’s environmental dilemmas

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world’s most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China’s recent moves toward an…
Everyone needs to understand the basics of science to participate fully in the democratic process. Conversation image via www.shutterstock.com.

To seek common ground on life’s big questions, we need science literacy

Science isn’t important only to scientists or those who profess an interest in it. Whether you find fascinating every new discovery reported or you stopped taking science in school as soon as you could…
Trawling for fish? You might be setting yourself up for a paltry haul next time. Glenn Perrigo

Frequent trawling leads to skinnier fish

Trawling – dragging heavy gear over ocean bottoms in search of fish near the sea floor – is arguably one of the most destructive human practices. Removing fish from the sea for an ever-hungry, growing…
Hollywood’s version of Stephen and Jane Hawking. Working Title Films

Theory of Everything debunks myth of Hawking as disembodied mind

Early in The Theory of Everything, the student Stephen Hawking strides across the grounds at Cambridge University in the 1960s, his face dreamy. He is lost in thought about the nature of time. Then he…
Tons of social media there for the taking… but is it truly representative of real life? Jürgen Pfeffer

Studying society via social media is not so simple

Behavioral scientists have seized on social media and their massive data sets as a way to quickly and cheaply figure out what people are thinking and doing. But some of those tweets and thumbs ups can…
Police often rely on witnesses to finger the right guy, but eyewitnesses are far from perfect. Lineup image via www.shutterstock.com.

Vagaries of memory mean eyewitness testimony isn’t perfect

Twenty eyewitnesses testified before the grand jury investigating the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. None of these accounts is fully consistent with any other. Moreover, eyewitnesses…