Science & Society

The number of women in paid employment has risen significantly over the past 40 years. In developed countries especially, there are increasing numbers of women reaching top positions in different fields of work. And new research shows how girls are doing far better than boys educationally across the world.

Sunday marks the 106th celebration of International Women’s Day.

Since New Yorkers first celebrated it in 1909, American women have made great strides toward equality in the workplace, politics and at home. Long gone are the days when women couldn’t vote or sex discrimination was blatant and legal.

Fast food advertising doesn't emphasize healthy menu items enough, and by giving away toys in things like Happy Meals restaurants are being deceptive even by their own self-regulation standards, according to scholars who showed 100 children aged 3–7 years McDonald’s and Burger King children and adult meal ads, randomly drawn from ads that aired on national U.S. television from 2010–11.

After seeing the ad, children were asked to recall what they had seen and transcripts evaluated for descriptors of food, healthy food (apples or milk), and premiums/tie-ins. All children’s ads contained images of healthy foods, like apples and milk, but premiums/tie-ins were recalled much more frequently than healthy food.

According to a 2014 National Consumers League poll, 29% of American adults believe that childhood vaccinations can trigger autism. To many, these views are difficult to comprehend. After all, multiple controlled studies conducted on huge international samples have debunked any statistical association between vaccines and autism.

I interact with many mathematicians and physicists including, rarely, a presidential appointee (Michael Gilmore, Director Operational Test&Evaluation, PhD in physics).

With few exceptions, ignorance of basic things is nearly universal and detrimental in these two fields, and it has everything to do with our training. We don’t realize how the major branches of math and physics are both individually and mutually connected and accessible, even at the bachelor’s degree level.

Women are not under-represented in science, they dominate in some fields and lag in others, part of the natural variation in humanity - but in academia at the highest levels, they are under-represented.

Immigration continues to be one of the key issues in the build-up to the general election. The latest figures show a net flow of 298,000 into the UK. This is higher than when David Cameron’s government took office, despite his pledge to cut the number to the tens of thousands.

But is this really bad news? Immigration is such an emotive issue that there is a tendency for the figures involved to be bandied about out of context.

A recent study found that people without three risk factors by age 45 were diagnosed with heart failure 11 to 13 years later, on average, than people who had those risk factors.

Heart failure, a chronic condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs, can be pushed off by not developing obesity, hypertension and diabetes, the researchers found.  People who had only one or two of the risk factors, but not all three, developed heart failure an average of three to 11 years earlier than people with none of the risk factors. 

The typical biography of a scientist might look something like this:

At a young age, a boy or girl discovers a love for science. Their dream is to become perhaps a geologist, a chemist, or a marine biologist.

The world's challenges demand science solutions - and fast - but it doesn't need the old style of detached experts, write a team of scientists in, ironically, one of America's most prominent and detached corporate science publications; Science magazine, a reputable legacy publication with a politician leading them.

Segregated expertise, like segregated articles of taxpayer-funded science, is obsolete.