Study: 50% of people pursuing science careers in academia will drop out after 5 years

That's a sharp increase from the 1960s when it took the same share of scientists an average of 35 years to drop out of academia.

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  • The study tracked the careers of more than 100,000 scientists over 50 years.
  • The results showed career lifespans are shrinking, and fewer scientists are getting credited as the lead author on scientific papers.
  • Scientists are still pursuing careers in the private sector, however there are key differences between research conducted in academia and industry.
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How hands-on learning fires up your brain

To strengthen your mind, work with your hands, says former astronaut Leland Melvin.

  • Learning is a mental and physical pursuit, says retired astronaut Leland Melvin.
  • Recalling his childhood, Melvin explains how working with his dad to turn a $500 bread truck into a family RV camper ultimately made him a better astronaut, able to maneuver the $2-billion dollar Columbus Laboratory out of the payload bay of a shuttle and attach it to the International Space Station.
  • Experiential learning — like hands-on DIY, engineering kits, and Duplo games — wires your brain for problem solving from a young age. It's a leg-up we can all give to the children in our lives.
  • "[W]hen we let [kids] build and create and it's meaningful and it helps them solve a problem, that gets them thinking about how they can be change makers themselves and how they can be scientists and engineers," says Melvin.

Kids of the 1% are 10 times more likely to become inventors

A new study warns of millions of "lost Einsteins".

([Jelleke Vanooteghem])
  • A new study reveals the economic class from which most U.S. inventors come.
  • Wealth, race, and gender are all factors in innovation.
  • Exposure to innovators and inventions in childhood can bridge the gap.
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Forced examination: How the free speech of others benefits us all

Americans say we value free speech, but recent surveys suggest we love the ideal more than practice, a division that will harm more than it protects.

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  • A majority of Americans believe we should protect people from deleterious ideas and speech.
  • This belief may harm us, both as individuals and as a society, by ironically strengthening the very ideas that do us harm.
  • Forced examination provides a means by which we can strengthen our own ideas while weeding the harmful ones from society, but it only works with free expression for everyone.
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Have Americans become too fragile for their own good?

Beyond trigger warnings and safe spaces lies an entire population that espouses victimhood in all walks of life.

  • Depression and anxiety rates are through the roof amongst young Americans, with the left and the right sides of the political spectrum blaming each other. Neither has an answer, and it goes beyond buzzwords like "safe spaces" and "triggered".
  • When everyone feels like a victim, are the mediums of communication themselves—social media and search engines—at fault?
  • There is no one right answer, but Jonathan Haidt makes a case for more open talk about our insecurities. Transparent communication with others, and perhaps learning some self-therapy, can help assuage a potential generation of failure.
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