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When women stopped coding

Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Most of the big names in technology are men. But a lot of computing pioneers, the ones who programmed the first digital computers, were women. And for decades, the number of women in computer science was growing. But in 1984, something changed. The number of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged. Click here to listen to this NPR podcast from December 17,…

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Are Big Cities Still A Primary Engine For Scientific Innovation?

It used to be that if you wanted to be an inventor or a scientist, it helped to be around other inventors and scientists, which could mean working at one of a handful of elite universities in a big metro area. New research questions whether big cities are still a primary engine for innovation. NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam sat down with our colleague David Greene to explain what…

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Are STEM teachers biased toward boys?

At early ages, girls often outperform boys in math and science classes. Later, something changes. By the time they get into high school, girls are less likely than boys to take difficult math courses and less likely, again, to go into careers in science, technology, engineering or medicine. To learn more about this, David Greene spoke with NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam. Click here to read/listen to this September…

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Results Of Many Clinical Trials Not Being Reported

Many scientists are failing to live up to a 2007 law that requires them to report the results of their clinical trials to a public website, according to a study in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. The website is clinicaltrials.gov, which draws 57,000 visitors a day, including people who are confronting serious diseases and looking for experimental treatments. A study from Duke University finds that five years after the…

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New research reveals infectious disease model for homicide

New research in Chicago finds that homicide victims are concentrated among a tiny network. Tracing that network might lead to public health measures to protect would-be victims. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Visit any city and people are going to tell you that some parts of town are at higher risk for crime. That’s a bad neighborhood, they might say; there’s more gun violence there, more assaults, more homicides. And if you…

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U.S. Science Suffering From Booms And Busts In Funding

Leif Parsons for NPR Ten years ago, Robert Waterland got an associate professorship at Baylor College of Medicine and set off to study one of the nation’s most pressing health problems: obesity. In particular, he’s been trying to figure out the biology behind why children born to obese women are more likely to develop the condition themselves. Waterland got sustaining funding from the National Institutes of Health and used it…

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How Well Does A Drug Work? Look Beyond The Fine Print

Courtesy of Dr. Steven Woloshin Anybody who has ever seen a drug advertisement or talked over the pros and cons of a medicine with a doctor can be forgiven for being confused. Sorting out the risks and benefits of taking a medicine can be complicated even for professionals. This spring, the Institute of Medicine with the Food and Drug Administration. The topic: How best to communicate to doctors and patients…

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Science Reporter Emily Graslie Reads Her Mail — And It’s Not So Nice

I’ve said it before, so I’ll say it again: Emily Graslie’s “The Brain Scoop” is one of the warmest, slyest video blogs on the web. She’s where I go to find out what museum scientists are up to — and right now she’s at the Field Museum in Chicago, where she wanders from department to department, exploring, delighting, asking questions that you and I would ask if someone gave us…

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