Science & Society


David Fincher's film shows the desolation of failed suburban promises. Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

By Julie McIntyre, University of Newcastle

Despite the publicity of high-profile celebrities having their iPhones hacked and private pictures distributed across the Internet, a new paper confirms that substantial numbers of teens are sexting – sending and receiving explicit sexual images via cellphone. Though the behavior is widely studied, the potentially serious consequences of the practice led the researchers to more accurately measure how frequently teens are choosing to put themselves at risk in this fashion.



We all have the legal right to refuse health care. Credit: Warren Goldswain

By Margaret Brown, University of South Australia

Have you thought about how you would want to be treated if you cannot make your own decisions?

Dr. Steve McKnight is President of the American Society For Biochemistry And Molecular Biology and chairman of the biochemistry department at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has probably also made a few enemies among young researchers in the society he manages. 

In modern times, doctors in medical school and residency are steeped in a 'teach to the protocol' environment, mandated by the government and the threat of lawsuits if bold efforts don't work. With the gradual takeover of health care by governments, creativity and and initiative are going to decline even further but some hospitals still engage in high hospital care intensity (HCI) and they have lower rates of patients dying from a major complication, called failure to rescue. 


UCLA psychologists
using a scale of responses to scenarios are saying that white Americans may view diversity and multiculturalism negatively as the U.S. moves toward becoming a minority-majority nation.

The psychologists divided 98 white Americans from all regions of the country — half male, half female, with an average age of 37 — randomly into two groups. One group was told that whites will no longer be the majority in the U.S. by 2050; in fact, this is likely to be true as soon as 2043, according to some projections. The second group was told that whites would retain their majority status in the U.S. through at least 2050. All participants were then asked a series of questions about their views on diversity.



In third place, Oxford University is the top UK institution in the World University Rankings 2014-15. Image:  Andrew Matthews/PA Archive

By Steven C. Ward, Western Connecticut State University

From the “best beaches” to the “best slice of pizza” to the best hospital to have cardiac surgery in, we are inundated with a seemingly never-ending series of reports ranking everything that can be ranked and even things that probably shouldn’t be.


Oh no – not that mistake again. Credit: Flickr/Alex Proimos, CC BY-NC

By Will J Grant, Australian National University and Rod Lamberts, Australian National University


The need for caution when any anomaly is revealed in new research. Credit: Flickr/Adam Gerard, CC BY-NC-SA

By Michael J. I. Brown, Monash University

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? What if research throws up a result that calls for a new way of thinking? How do we handle that?

Mental illness has been under a lot of criticism in the last few years. The public feels like the psychology field over-medicates people based on subjective symptoms and recent high-profile violent acts all involved people on psychiatric medications.

But there is still recognition that some mental illness is exculpatory and not just bad behavior. That is less so with drug addicts. While addictions are called a disease, and everyone gives lip service to that idea, when it comes to public policy the truth comes out. The public doesn't support insurance, housing, or employment policies that benefit drug addicts, a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health survey finds.