Science & Society

There is a broader need for more individual scientists to communicate with the public. Currently, that kind of activity is not particularly valued in some fields of research.

Recognizing that all politics is local, scientists will need to make clear why climate change or HIV research matters for the communities represented by members of Congress. They should take along science-savvy business leaders and locally elected officials to help make their case. And beyond the scientific leadership, there is a broader need for more individual scientists to communicate with the public. Currently, that kind of activity is not particularly valued — and is even disdained — in some fields of research. And spending time meeting with elected leaders or local journalists does not help a young scientist to get tenure.

Where the water wars of the future will be fought

A new report warns about the increasing likelihood of international conflicts over water.

Abd al-Ibrahim, whose home was destroyed during fighting, as he rests on his trip to supply water to his family at the house they are squatting in the northern Syrian city of Raqa. October 15, 2018. (Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A study finds that serious conflicts over water are going to arise around the globe.
  • The 5 hotspots identified by the paper include areas of the Nile, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Tigris-Euphrates, and Colorado rivers.
  • It's still possible to change course if we are prepared to address the effects of climate change.
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A Star Is Born, Warner Bros Pictures
Surprising Science
  • It has to do with two parts of the brain, both of which are thicker in those with better smell and spacial recognition.
  • Your nose can detect about 1 trillion smells.
  • While your nose isn't a full GPS, it can help you pick out a general direction.
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Technology & Innovation
  • A Larry Page-backed company has announced that its flying car will go on sale in 2019.
  • It's called the BlackFly.
  • Not quite the escape from traffic you had in mind, but it's a jaw-dropping start.
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