Science & Society

Jack The Ripper is famous - everyone in the Western world has heard of the unsolved case of the Whitechapel serial killer who preyed on prostitutes for a few months in 1888.

There were only five (or six) of those murders almost 130 years ago yet today there are 17 different grisly tours in London's East End about them. 

The pressure's on JJ Abrams and the new Star Wars films.Credit: wiredphotostream, CC BY-NC

By Sorcha Ní Fhlainn, Manchester Metropolitan University

We come in peace. redgum, CC BY-NC-SA

By Seth Shostak, SETI Institute

My Kickstarter project has closed having raised  $220 out of the needed $2500 to help me either publish some scientific papers or to buy a telescope for astronomy students to use. Instead of money I got discounts on the publication fees from the journal Science Open Research, I was invited to publish for free in The Winnower, and the International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics. So my Kickstarter got one of my papers published, and the other two closer to being published. In that sense my project was also a success.

Not all students returning to school this month will be up to date on their vaccinations and a new paper in Gender&Society by Jennifer Reich,a professor of Sociology from the University of Colorado Denver, correlates it to the class privilege of their mothers.

It's no secret that anti-vaccination hotbeds correlate to income and other lifestyle choices. Put a pin in a Whole Foods store in California and you can find a hotbed of anti-vaccine sentiment in the parking lot and surrounding neighborhood. In America, red states have overwhelming vaccine acceptance while blue states are where the problems are occurring.

A look at 634 couples found that the more often they smoked marijuana, the less likely they were to engage in domestic violence.  

The scholars attempted to clarify inconsistent findings about domestic violence among pot-smoking couples that primarily has been based on cross-sectional data (i.e., data from one point in time). Looking at couples over the first nine years of marriage, the study found:

  • More frequent marijuana use by husbands and wives (two-to-three times per month or more often) predicted less frequent intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by husbands.

  • Husbands' marijuana use also predicted less frequent IPV perpetration by wives.

For 'credence' services such as auto-repair, health care, and legal services, when more service providers care about the customer's well-being, society as whole may actually be worse off.   

Why? Because the benefit to the customers for the service is difficult to assess before and even after the service. For example, when an auto mechanic tells a customer to make some repairs, the average customer is unable to discern the veracity of the recommendation. The risk of not doing repairs is unknown until a breakdown, if any, occurs. But if repairs are undertaken, their value may never be known.  

The American Heart Association has drafted a policy recommendation on the use of e-cigarettes and their impact on tobacco-control efforts and says that because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, they are tobacco products and should be subject to all laws that apply to these products. 

Writing in its in-house publication, Circulation, the association also calls for new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes and for more research into the product's health impact. 

Source: IPA

By Kerrie Foxwell-Norton, Griffith University

It’s tempting to view The Australian’s latest broadside at the ABC as just another salvo fired between our nation’s two biggest media organisations.