Close
Topics
Collections

Society

Microbial secrets of sourdough

It all starts with a community teeming with yeasts and bacteria — but what’s really happening? Scientists peer into those jars on the kitchen counter to find out.

The fragile state of contact languages

These linguistic mash-ups are at high risk of extinction. The race to save them is a matter of time, with more at stake than words.

Why jobless payments serve the public good

Amid political debate over benefits during the pandemic, a researcher explains why unemployment insurance and other government measures are crucial for the economy and employees to survive troubled times

Getting a Covid-19 vaccine — quickly and safely

Researchers around the globe are working with unprecedented speed to find the vaccines we need to find our way through the pandemic. What’s the bar for safety and effectiveness?

The trouble with medicating mental illness

Psychotropic drugs have severely narrowed how we treat psychiatric disorders — to the detriment of patients and society as a whole. A look at the past suggests a better way forward.

America the Unhealthy: Inequality kills

Smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise? Yes, but that’s not all. A researcher tells us what really hurts US life expectancy.

Corporate crime and non-punishment

The legal system makes it easy for big businesses that break the law to escape prosecution and evade reform. There is a better way — and a legal scholar tells us exactly how it could work.

Telemedicine’s tipping point

Sheltering in place has pushed virtual health care into the mainstream. Will we go back to doctors’ waiting rooms?

Curbing implicit bias: what works and what doesn't

Psychologists have yet to find a way to diminish hidden prejudice, but they do have strategies for thwarting discrimination

How we make decisions during a pandemic

From mask wearing to physical distancing, individuals wield a lot of power in how the coronavirus outbreak plays out. Behavioral experts reveal what might be prompting people to act — or not.

The complexities of a universal basic income

It’s a hot topic under political debate: providing cash grants as a social safety net. Small programs hint at how it might work — or not — on a national scale.

Psychotherapy on the couch

Studies show talk therapy works, but experts disagree about how it does so. Finding the answer could help professionals and patients.

Information apocalypse: All about deepfakes

VIDEO: Doctored images, fake videos and computer-generated news are easier than ever to create and distribute. Here’s why you should worry and what you can do.

Synthetic media: The real trouble with deepfakes

Keeping on top of manipulated videos and images is no easy feat. Scientists trace the roots of their proliferation, dig up new techniques to counter digital forgeries and warn of the growing dangers ahead.

What makes food ‘local’?

More people are choosing what to eat based on where it was grown, made or created. An anthropologist looks at the myriad ways we link food to place — and whether it really could make a difference.

Rethinking clinical trials for next-generation cancer drugs

Therapies tailored to a tumor’s genetic markers show promise, but figuring out who’s most likely to benefit presents new challenges for scientists

Why real-life places still matter in the age of texting and Twitter

Interactions in physical spaces, whether around the watercooler or at the neighborhood bar, are crucial to forming social ties

Out of the mouth of babes

Learning a language is child’s play, but linguists are still trying to understand how children do it so easily