Quoted at Science...

A few weeks ago I highlighted this relevant finding from the massive amount of data contained in Pew's annual State of the Media report. And Chris highlighted the results of this separate survey. The posts grabbed the attention of a reporter for Science and the news nuggets are featured in the latest edition of the magazine with some quick analysis from me.


SCIENCE OFF THE AIR

Nearly half of Americans cannot name a "role model" scientist, living or dead. And only 11% can come up with the name of a living one, according to a survey released last week by the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois. And whom do they think of most often? Bill Gates and Al Gore. Each was named by 6% of the sample, on a par with Albert Einstein. Most respondents also reported that citizens' ignorance of science is "a detriment to our nation."

A possible source of the problem emerged from another study released last week by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. It found that for every 5 hours of U.S. cable television news, only 2 minutes are devoted to science or the environment. By contrast, the same period contains 10 minutes of celebrity news and nearly half an hour on crime.

Given the priorities in their major news outlets, "it's not surprising that in polls, few Americans rank climate change or the environment as a top political priority or even a major national problem," says Matthew Nisbet, a social scientist at American University in Washington, D.C.

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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