Category Archives: Commentary

Brain Balls: Effective Science Communication or Misinformed Hype?

Which is more likely to catch a reader’s attention: a pop science article referring to “human cortical spheroids” or “brain balls”? Each has its advantages, but also its drawbacks. Communication of science requires reader-friendly translation of jargon-filled, complex ideas, but it’s crucial that this is done accurately and without misinformed hype. For Stanford researcher Dr. Sergiu Pasca, this challenge is

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Sharing is Caring: The Future of Your Wardrobe

With the advent of the internet, mobile devices, and big data, our lives and society are speeding up. From our smartphones to our interactions with friends and family, everything is getting faster. Fashion is no exception. Clothing trends are changing more rapidly than ever before, with consumers demanding access to new styles immediately following their catwalk debuts. Most consumers no

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The Replication Crisis: Making Science True

The Royal Society of London is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. Founded in 1660, the Royal Society was one of the birthplaces of science as we know it today. The Royal Society’s founding ideal became its motto–“nullius in verba,” meaning “take nobody’s word for it.” Every week, the fellows of the Royal Society would meet to show

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Second-wave Effects: A Global Health Perspective on Climate Change

Monsoon season in Southwest Asia generally stretches from early June until late September. While the annual rainfalls are known to replenish freshwater and maintain the vibrant green rice paddies that line hills, the last decade has seen a greater severity in the amount of rain, resulting in catastrophic consequences for the people of the south Asian subcontinent. This past year,

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DNA Synthesis Going Viral: Evaluating the Security of Dual-Use Biotechnology

In 2004, the United States passed legislation that made hundreds of researchers around the country guilty of a crime with consequences of up to $2,000,000 fines and a prison sentence of 25 years to life. What was that crime? Working with vaccinia—a live virus vaccine that essentially eradicated smallpox by 1980 and became the most widely used human immunization. While

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Alternative Science? The future of science research in Trump’s America

By: Lloyd Lyall Trump’s attitudes on medicine and the environment might be some of the most striking disavowals of science in the modern world. The president has labelled climate change a “hoax created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive,”2 and claimed “new ‘environmentally friendly’ lightbulbs cause cancer.”3 Fracking poses “zero health risks,”4 and vaccines

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