Anthropology

Social media is king. It can run pizza chain founders out of their companies, it can be used by anti-science activists to mobilize well-meaning science advocates against other science advocates, but what it can't do is change human nature. And human nature says people will visit those nearby.

Even when people have well-connected social networks state lines, they are still most frequently interacting with people who are geographically close. Except in Los Angeles. Apparently everyone is looking for a reason to leave Los Angeles. 

British smiles have an unflattering international image, but a new study has put tartar from infamously bad teeth to good use. By analyzing the teeth of Britons from the Iron Age to the modern day they have leveraged a way to use proteins in tooth tartar to reveal what our ancestors ate. 

Dental plaque accumulates on the surface of teeth during life and is mineralized by components of saliva to form tartar or "dental calculus", entombing proteins from the food we eat in the process. Proteins are hearty molecules and can survive in tartar for thousands of years. That's good for science. 
A new study using a massive database of scientific articles, 486,644 articles with two to nine authors published in medical journals by U.S. scientists between 1946 and 2009, suggests that minority women are not double penalized by being minorities and women, but they do have what might be called a "one-and-a-half bind." They are still worse off than other groups, but their disadvantage is less than the disadvantage of being black or Hispanic plus the disadvantage of being a woman.

There are obvious confounders. Medical journals are a small subset of journals and journals will have more academic representation, since that is the metric government panels use to give out grants, a concern private sector scientists don't have. 
What accounts for modern peace? There are varying ideas. When America won World War II and occupied Germany and Japan in 1945, two militant cultures were off the table, while psychologist Steven Pinker argues in 2011's "The Better Angels of Our Nature" argues that there has been a continuous decline in the relative levels of virtually all types of violence, and he writes of a “humanitarian revolution”, driven by democracy, trade and information. Perhaps World War II, and the implementation of "total war" and nuclear weapons, sent wars into decline - at least major wars.

“Diversity” as a concept has a lexical and political value all its own, with a widespread appeal. The problem with that is, however, that no one actually has the same idea of what diversity actually means. There is some consensus that the concept has, over time, morphed into something that it was not originally intended to be. Denise Green’s 2004 study looks at the University of Michigan’s response to a 1997 affirmative action case, and argues that legal precedents such as this one moved the cursor away from social and racial justice towards a narrower, simplified idea about diversity.

A few years ago a cultural anthropologist levied a bombastic charge against her own field; using uncontrolled anonymous surveys with undefined terms she claimed almost every woman doing field work had been subjected to sexual harassment or even rape. It got a lot of attention but it lacked serious methodology, even for surveys.
In the war for attention, a lot of parents are made to feel like they are not very good if they don't get their child into the right pre-school, buy the right food which lacks the additives it's fashionable to exclude, or spent Quality Time shuffling them from sporting events to music classes to book readings.

You can relax. You may not be perfect, but you are still probably a better dad than your dad was, finds an analysis of survey results published in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

The dancer, actress, director and photographer Helene “Leni” Riefenstahl, who died in 2003, is a controversial character, largely because of the many propaganda movies she produced for the Nazis. So when it was recently announced that her estate would be handed over to a Berlin photography museum, historians of the period hoped to find some clarification about the extent of her involvement with the Nazi regime.

The Chinese government’s ongoing attempts to create a social credit system aimed at rating the trustworthiness of people and companies have generated equal measures of fascination and anxiety around the world. Social credit is depicted as something uniquely Chinese – a nefarious and perverse digital innovation that could only be conceived of and carried out by a regime like the Chinese Communist Party.

In 2007, there was a ban that increased happiness for married women, but not men, according to the British Household Panel Survey.