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Scientific publishing is not known for moving rapidly. In normal times, publishing new research can take months, if not years. Researchers prepare a first version of a paper on new findings and submit it to a journal, where it is often rejected, before being resubmitted to another journal, peer-reviewed, revised and, eventually, hopefully published.

All scientists are familiar with the process, but few love it or the time it takes. And even after all this effort – for which neither the authors, the peer reviewers, nor most journal editors, are paid – most research papers end up locked away behind expensive journal paywalls. They can only be read by those with access to funds or to institutions that can afford subscriptions.

From July 24, people in England will have to wear a face mask when inside shops, as well as on public transport. This brings England in line with many other countries that have similar rules already in place.

In an open letter published in Harper’s Magazine, 152 writers, including JK Rowling and Margaret Atwood, claim that a climate of “censoriousness” is pervading liberal culture, the latest contribution to an ongoing debate about freedom of speech online.

Panic-stricken headlines about “murder hornets” are thankfully mostly behind us. The nickname may have staying power, but it is certainly unearned.

First spotted in British Columbia in August 2019, the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) poses little threat to humans. In its native range in East Asia, the giant hornet is chiefly a menace to the livelihoods of beekeepers, provoking concern that it could cause similar problems in North America.


The recently released 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card revealed that Canadian children scored a D+ for “daily physical activity,” an F for “active play” and a D- for “active transportation.” Only 39 per cent of Canadian children and youth achieve recommended physical activity levels.

A decline in children’s physical activity isn’t a new trend. However, with COVID-19, there has been further decline in physical activity resulting from public health protocols aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

On August 30 2019, a comet from outside our solar system was observed by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov at the MARGO observatory in Crimea. This was only the second time an interstellar comet had ever been recorded. Comet 19 or C/2019 Q4 , as it is now known, made its closest approach to the sun on December 8 2019, roughly coinciding with the first recorded human cases of COVID-19.