Science & Society

It's Ada Lovelace day. Image credit: unknown

By Jan Bogg, University of Liverpool

Throughout the year there are special days that see newsagents fill with celebratory cards. Perhaps punched cards would be more appropriate for Ada Lovelace Day, which marks both the mathematical prowess of the woman dubbed the “first computer programmer” and the cultural barriers she faced – those women in science and technical fields still face today.

Though the American economy remains in a malaise, with alarming numbers of people chronically unemployed for so long they no longer are considered unemployed because they can't get unemployment benefits any more, two areas have been exempt from that - government employees and new college graduates.

Unlike the rest of the economy, those two sections never had negative growth and now hiring is expected to jump a whopping 16 percent for newly minted degree-holders in 2014-15, according to Recruiting Trends, the annual survey by Michigan State University economist Phil Gardner with responses from nearly 5,700 companies. 

If you have read mainstream media reports on suicides, you recognize a common theme: men are painted as angry and rejected, while women are regarded as sociable and mentally ill.

A new analysis of daily newspaper coverage of suicide has far-reaching consequences, write scholars from Medical University of Vienna, because when it comes to suicidal behavior, there is a clear gender paradox: the ratio of men to women who actually commit suicide is three to one, but with attempted suicides it is just the opposite - three women for every one man. 

The authors say the findings demonstrate that the cultural script that bears partial responsibility for this is also found in the reports by Austrian daily newspapers.

The pale blue dot. Credit: NASA

By Monica Grady, The Open University

World Space Week is one of a series of events co-ordinated by the UN to celebrate the global nature of space exploration. It was established in 1999.

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.