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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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Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions

Paul Offit likes to tell a story about how his wife, pediatrician Bonnie Offit, was about to give a child a vaccination when the kid was struck by a seizure. Had she given the injection a minute sooner, Paul Offit says, it would surely have appeared as though the vaccine had caused the seizure and probably no study in the world would have convinced the parent otherwise. (The Offits have…

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Why Is Science Suffering in the Modern Age?

A recent survey from the Pew Research Institute revealed troubling trends in how science is doing, and showed that the public and scientists are far apart on many basic questions, from whether humans have evolved over time (only 65% of the public agrees, compared to 98% of scientists), to whether it’s safe to eat genetically modified foods (88% of scientists think so, but only 37% of the public agrees). There…

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UNESCO on the global future of open access

The mission of UNESCO, which was founded in 1945, is to “contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.” An important plank in that mission is a commitment to help build inclusive and equitable knowledge societies. We should not be surprised, therefore, that UNESCO supports the Open Access movement, we should not be surprised that…

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NSF launches new online STEM education, workforce tracker

It just became a lot easier for educators, students, parents, policymakers and business leaders to learn more about national trends in education and jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The National Science Board (NSB) today released an interactive, online resource featuring new and updated data and graphics about STEM education and workforce in the U.S. and providing facts on topics such as student proficiency, college degrees in STEM…

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New Zealand building public engagement in science

Science and the knowledge and innovation that flow from scientific progress have a critical role in creating and defining our future Many of today’s most complex decisions (e.g. on public health, natural resources stewardship and communications technology) require us all to weigh scientific evidence and our values. This will be even more so in future years as the world becomes increasingly connected and technology and knowledge advance. As New Zealanders…

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Climate change ed: Two new books from National Academies

Climate Change Education: Engaging Family Private Forest Owners on Issues Related to Climate Change: A Workshop Summary (2014) The forested land in the United States is an asset that is owned and managed not only by federal, state, and local governments, but also by families and other private groups, including timber investment management organizations and real estate investment trusts. The more than 10 million family forestland owners manage the largest…

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Why Do Americans Stink at Math?

When Akihiko Takahashi was a junior in college in 1978, he was like most of the other students at his university in suburban Tokyo. He had a vague sense of wanting to accomplish something but no clue what that something should be. But that spring he met a man who would become his mentor, and this relationship set the course of his entire career. Takeshi Matsuyama was an elementary-school teacher,…

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