Science & Society

A recent paper examined the changing nature of family living situations. University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Cassandra Szoeke and Katherine Burn, from the University's Faculty of Medicine, Health and Dentistry Sciences, examined both 'boomerang kids' (those who return home) and 'failure to launch' kids (those who never left).

The project reviewed 20 studies involving 20 million people worldwide and was published in Maturitas.

The research shows:

  • The shifting economic climate and changes in social norms were driving the phenomenon of kids staying at home for longer.


Sixty percent of Australians have been the target of online harassment and abuse, with women and young adults most likely to report being sexually harassed online. One in 10 adults said someone had shared a nude or semi-nude image of them without their consent.

The results reveal victims of online harassment and abuse are both male and female, with women twice as likely to be targeted by male offenders and men also twice as likely to be the perpetrators of digital abuse.

More than name calling or offensive remarks, digital abuse included sexual harassment, threats and cyber stalking. 


On Twitter #BlackOnCampus is a collection anecdotes of racial aggression and microaggression.  What does science say? What is the context for these tweets?  I am only one person and can only speak for myself.  However, many others on Twitter are sharing their own stories of what it is like to be #BlackOnCampus.   Those who are not from the United States and those who are not black may be surprised to find out that there are still very real issues with racism.  Things have gotten better even during my life time.

If you remodel your kitchen or put in a custom library, chances are that money is lost; when buyers look at the comparable sales for homes in the area, they want to pay based on similar square footage. 

Not so for solar installations, in six markets, according to a recent analysis. Researchers engaged a team of seven appraisers from across the six states to determine the value that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems added to single-family homes using the industry-standard paired-sales valuation technique, which compares recent sales of comparable homes to estimate the premium buyers would pay for PV. 


Though 97 percent of climate experts believe in climate change, the public remains less convinced, including teens, who are most likely to believe what they are told and so are heavily marketed toward. Only 46 percent of teens think climate change is anything but a natural fluctuation while 57 percent aren't concerned about it.

Humanities scholar Diego Román of Southern Methodist University thinks more control over textbook content used by teachers is the answer. A new study measured how four sixth-grade science textbooks adopted for use in California frame the subject of global warming. Sixth grade is the first time California state standards indicate students will encounter climate change in their formal science curriculum.


“Here’s my bet: the kids are going to win and when they do, it’s going to matter,” prophesized environmentalist Bill McKibben about fossil fuel divestment in 2013.

If so, they are going to be led by Quakers, who were among the first to officially say no to fossil fuel stocks. Though Quakers were considered anarchists in the Old World, in America they banned slave ownership way before government did and created Pennsylvania as a commonwealth without social elites, established churches, tithes, high taxes or compulsory military service. Are they thought leaders once again?

Cultural pressures to avoid anything controversial and the need to show a positive result to get the next grant have led scientists to avoid risk-taking and choose inefficient research strategies, two new University of Chicago papers conclude.


The latest Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa also took its toll socially on one of the fastest growing populations in the United States - African immigrants.

Guy-Lucien Whembolua, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor of Africana studies, reviewed reports in mainstream U.S. media related to African immigrants and the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The search turned up 21 news articles that matched the criteria for the study - articles focusing on African immigrants in the U.S. and the Ebola virus.


Organic food has managed to wrap itself in both a health and ethical halo and a lot of the credit for that has to go to outstanding marketing and the work of trade groups that represent organic farmers. They have turned what was once a niche market focused on a different process into a $100 billion juggernaut where mothers chide other mothers as bad parents if they don't buy organic.

That will be taught in business classes for decades.

A new survey reveals that couples enjoyed more frequent and satisfying sex for both partners when men made a fair contribution to housework. The same paper also says there's no relationship between the amount of housework male partners completed and the sexual functioning of a couple.