Science Education & Policy

What do you have when someone declares that organic food should be separate from USDA oversight but organic soap should have special oversight if it is not made by a large corporation?

A California politician.

A new study examined the relationship between mandatory nap times in daycare and children's night-time sleep duration concurrently and then 12 months later and found children who were exposed to more than 60 minutes mandatory sleep at childcare slept worse at night which continued when they started school.

A sample of 168 children, aged between 50-72 months of which 55 percent were male, was observed during the study. A year later the children were observed in their first year of school.


As the realities of legalized marijuana take hold in four states and the District of Columbia, legislators and regulators could learn a lot from the successes (and failures) of the tobacco and alcohol industries in keeping their harmful products out of the hands of children and adolescents.


The U.S. educational system clearly produces some of the best minds in the world.

America leads in science output and in adult science literacy, yet when it comes to standardized tests, the United States has always been in the middle of the pack and that has long been a concern.

Even before Jacqueline Ho enrolled in her first environmental studies course at college, her thinking about climate change had been shaped during her years growing up in Singapore reading books by the environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben.

At college, ideas first planted by McKibben were reinforced in courses where she read classics by Aldo Leopold and Garrett Hardin, along with recent books by Van Jones and Elizabeth Kolbert.

With these authors anchoring her understanding, it was easy for Ho to believe about climate change “that fossil fuel corporations were to blame, that we had a suite of low-carbon technologies we could deploy immediately, and that grassroots solutions held promise,” she recalls.

A survey of nearly 7,000 people found that 98 percent want to to know if their genetic data contains indicators of a serious preventable or treatable disease. The study comes after the Government's announcement that Genomics England will sequence 100,000 genomes by 2017, begins an important and on-going conversation about how our genomic data is used. 


Since 2006, some schools have been giving up desks in the belief that sedentary education is doing a disservice to children. Another study adds to that debate. The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health finds students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts, with 12 percent greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks 

 The findings were based on a study of almost 300 children in second through fourth grade who were observed over the course of a school year. Engagement was measured by on-task behaviors such as answering a question, raising a hand or participating in active discussion and off-task behaviors like talking out of turn.


You may find these remarks cynical. You may find them helpful.

Strategy

The U.S. won't change the predominately white-male face of its science and technology workforce until higher education addresses the attitudes, behaviors and structural practices that undermine minority students' access and success at college, a new study suggests.


Dropping off a child at kindergarten for the first time can be one of the most memorable yet terrifying experiences of parenthood. Among the many concerns parents face is the worry whether your child will make friends - a key factor, research shows, in reducing anxiety, depression and the likelihood of being bullied.

For parents of children with disabilities, the concern is even greater as four-out-of-10 of their children will enter kindergarten without the social skills necessary to develop close friendships. The response from schools has been to create inclusive classrooms, where a significant number of students with disabilities now receive the majority of their education and are believed to have a better chance at developing close relationships with peers.