Science & Society

Australia recently had an election where they asked for a dramatic departure from previous fiscal policies. 

The reasons were simple, in hindsight. Everyone wanted more money from an increasingly larger government but incomes were declining. Inflation is still happening, government employees still get raises, but average Australian income declines showed what government claims about economic health did not.  

Increases and declines in economies have always happened but new work in the Economic Analysis and Policy journal finds that people are not better off than they were 20 years ago.  



Diversity is listed at the bottom of priorities for human resources professionals in large firms yet many mangers still feel threatened by diversity policies.shutterstock

By Jennifer Whelan, Melbourne Business School

Many large organizations are now on their second or third wave of diversity and inclusion programs.

A good number of them are still struggling to identify obvious improvements in the metrics they hoped to see changes in. Yet, ironically, increasing numbers of people are beginning to express “diversity fatigue”.


What if whether you got a job was determined by which web browser you used? Shutterstock

By Mark Burdon, The University of Queensland and Paul Harpur, The University of Queensland

Staff recruitment and retention are an ongoing challenge for employers. Proponents of big data in the workplace are now claiming they can change that.

It's pretty common in culture, from Turkey to Tennessee, for a public that otherwise does not condone rape to joke about it when it comes to male criminals. And the more heinous the crime, not only does it become acceptable, but almost demanded in a justice system that often favors criminals over victims.

But raping women isn't acceptable in civilized countries. In the modern decade, 'gender' has become a subjective thing. Anthropology papers will even strangely let 'other', including alien life forms, be considered a valid gender in their surveys.


Frank Priestley, President of the Idaho Farm Bureau, notes that some consumers will benefit from GMO labeling laws - if those consumers are organic farmers and have an audience so educated by advertising that they will pay almost any price for 'health'.

No one was as surprised as farmers that a GMO warning label law, almost identical in verbiage to the California version written by the lawyer who got Prop 65 warnings on every product in every business of the state and made himself a multi-millionaire in lawsuits enforcing it, failed in Oregon this month.

After the mid-term elections in the United States, a lot of Democratic staffers are looking for new jobs.

A new study finds that it's better to focus on skills in that new resume, and put the recent experience section farther down the page. For those outside the Washington, D.C. beltway, leave your blog off the resume entirely, according to political scientists from Duke University.


Female American athletes get less coverage in the media due to gender bias and instead what attention they get focuses more on attire, or how attractive, sexy or ladylike they are, write Emily Kaskan and Ivy Ho of the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Sex Roles, an interdisciplinary behavioral science journal offering a feminist perspective. 

Kaskan and Ho looked at how pervasive small subtle biases and stereotyping of American female athletes are and what types of "microaggression" exist, examining how they put pressure on athletes and other women, as well. They reviewed popular Internet articles and research from the Psychinfo database, using keywords such as 'sexism,' 'sports media,' 'Serena Williams' and 'Olympic coverage.'


America talks a lot about body image, but only as it relates to girls. The war on thin women is in full swing, obesity is all the rage. Even lingerie companies have plus-sized models and when a European engineer wore a shirt that a female artist friend made for his birthday, America was outraged - because it had thin women on it.

Yet these movements are one-sided, to a point they might be considered sexist. Young males are the forgotten demographic, even though a new study finds that up to 25% of boys are on diets, whether they need them or not. Almost one third of male adolescents inaccurately perceive their own weight.



Dr. Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) and Andrew (Miles Teller) in Whiplash

By Lauren Rosewarne, University of Melbourne

A decade of piano lessons with a woman who never allowed my lack of passion, prowess or practice ruin a good thing, exists as a mere red herring.

A good woman, a sane woman, but even ten years with her wasn’t enough to ameliorate the (mis)education I got from music classes in primary school.


A new America? Warner Bros. Pictures

By Peter Bloom, The Open University

"Interstellar" has been praised for its attempt to make the “hard science” of astrophysics both accessible and exciting to a popular audience.

Through cutting-edge special effects, it takes audiences on a journey through space and time. It does so by drawing on groundbreaking scientific theories involving relativity, wormholes, black holes and the power of gravity.