Science & Society

In an interview of wealthy Norwegian business elites, mothers talked freely about their everyday lives - and why being wealthy enough to not have to work is important to many of them. 

Among the 13 families chronicled  by sociologist Helene Aarseth from the University of Oslo in Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning (Journal of Gender Research), nine of the women were full-time mothers or had a small part-time job which did not interfere with their ability to be home with the children when they returned from school. Prior to leaving the workplace, almost all the wealthy mothers had a prestigious education within law or economics.
I'm former nuclear weapons designer who tries to write fiction. I realized there's an inspiration to be gotten from these two activities pointing us to some conditions necessary for general AI. Stellar simulation codes frame stars inside well a reasonably defined universe (a volume of space) and evolve code physics using multiple clocks (hydrodynamics clock, faster neutronics clock, etc.) Many types of recursion to convergence occur. Watching myself writing fiction, I realized that I was the universe and my characters general AIs being "pushed" forward by multiple clocks not unlike a simulated star running in a massively parallel process machine.

Look lively! Stokkete/Shutterstock

By Clive Brown, University of Leeds

After a very drawn out and fraught construction, the Philharmonie de Paris is finally open. The 2,400 seat concert hall was conceived with ambitious plans to democratize classical music, and is situated, in line with these aims, on the boundary between the city’s affluent center and its banlieues. Whether it will succeed in these ambitions remains to be seen.


They're suspected al-Shabaab militants – but probably not ivory traders. UN, CC BY-NC-SA

By Diogo Veríssimo, Georgia State University

It is often said that if something is repeated often enough, it becomes accepted as true. This has certainly been the case for the link between terrorism and the poaching of elephants for the ivory trade.

These semi-serious but mostly joking statements are based on my observations as a student and as a Adjunct Professor at community colleges.  Thinking about the initiative to give school through the associates degree for free brings this to mind. 

First a word from the President of the United States of America. 



For the technical almost outsourcing proof jobs he has in mind, STEM jobs that might not work out.
There is a gender gap in some fields of academia. Some are skewed heavily toward women and some are skewed heavily toward men, though some have too little variation to be meaningful.

But why are there any gaps at all? Various explanations have been offered, from the bizarre - sexism among the liberals who dominate academia - to the more bizarre - the belief among those same academic leaders that women are less analytical than men. The most popular explanation is that women are the only gender that can give birth and after that they work less hours and that penalizes them in faculty and tenure hiring. Family-friendly policy is the only area of academia where people wish it was more like the corporate world.
Last week's terrorist attacks in Paris were religiously-based and they have brought to the fore an issue that France, and most of Europe, had chosen to ignore: determining how prevalent religious fundamentalism is.

A new paper says that creating Muslim zones where outsiders were not allowed is not the problem, nor is Muslim hostility toward 'out groups', like non-Muslims, and the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo office by the terrorists was not even attacking people who made fun of religion, or even western religion, it was instead an attack on the religious values of peace-loving Muslims, according to sociologist  Ruud Koopmans, director of the WZB Berlín Social Science Centre in Germany, writing in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Can you dance like Robbie Williams? It would go down great in a lecture hall. Jonathan Brady/PA Archive

By Justin O'Brien, Royal Holloway

If you want a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, you have probably been cautioned that academia, awash in Federal money promoting STEM careers, can maybe employ 15 percent of the PhDs in science they graduate.

The private sector still accounts for most of the basic research, almost all of the applied research, and certainly all of the technology, and they want you.

One was about 17 Westerners being killed and one was about 2,000 Africans. Guess which got most of the media attention? Kano, Nigeria Stringer/Reuters.

By Ethan Zuckerman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Consider two tragic events that took place last week.

A small cell of Islamic terrorists attacked cartoonists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and shoppers in a Paris supermarket, killing 17 people and sparking international outcry, solidarity and support.