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Enhancing Participation in the U.S. Global Change Research Program

The US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a collection of 13 Federal entities charged by law to assist the United States and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change. As the understanding of global change has evolved over the past decades and as demand for scientific information on global change has increased, the USGCRP has increasingly focused on research that…

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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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New AI program aims to improve how we search through science

When it comes to the body of scientific literature in existence, the world is suffering from information overload. There are now more than 100 million academic papers online and that number is estimated to be growing at a rate of nearly 5,000 new articles each day. According to one study, only half of those papers are being read by anyone other than the author and the editors of whatever journal…

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Book Review: ‘Ending Medical Reversal’ Laments Flip-Flopping

“Ending Medical Reversal” is a subtly subversive book in need of a considerably snappier title. “OOPS!” perhaps, or “Are You Kidding Me?” This last was the reaction of a diabetic patient described by the authors who, after years spent dutifully following the most spartan of diets in order to keep his blood sugar in check, just learned he needn’t have bothered. The goal his doctor (and doctors everywhere) were routinely…

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It’s not you, it’s the math: Colleges rethink what students need

Dena DeYoung traces her trouble with math back to sixth grade, when a well-intended placement test showed she was smart enough to do advanced work. And for several years, DeYoung did well. But when she reached high school, math became her worst subject. Lost by the logic, unable to imagine how what she was learning would ever come into play in the real world, her math grades plummeted. “I just…

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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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Google’s war on content

The internet is a big place. How big? Well, it depends on what you’re counting and when (because the numbers change so quickly) but by some measures the internet contains over a trillion gigabytes of information, 500 million websites and 15 trillion web pages. That’s a lot of information. And for us mere humans, it’s impossible to accumulate let alone sort through this kind of bulk without some very cleverly…

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Teaching evolution in Kentucky

Rarely do I have a Kentucky student who learned about human evolution in high school biology. Those who did usually attended high schools in large urban centers like Louisville or Lexington. Given how easily it can provoke parents, the teaching of human evolution is a rarity in high school, so much so in Kentucky that it startled me when I first arrived. The story of our evolutionary history captivates many…

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