These are the world’s greatest threats in 2021

We look back at a year ravaged by a global pandemic, economic downturn, political turmoil and the ever-worsening climate crisis.

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Billions are at risk of missing out on the digital leap forward, as growing disparities challenge the social fabric.

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This is your brain on political arguments

Debating is cognitively taxing but also important for the health of a democracy—provided it's face-to-face.

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  • New research at Yale identifies the brain regions that are affected when you're in disagreeable conversations.
  • Talking with someone you agree with harmonizes brain regions and is less energetically taxing.
  • The research involves face-to-face dialogues, not conversations on social media.
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Should scientific studies be available for free?

Plan S is starting to take hold, but the cost is merely shifting even more to the researchers.

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  • Launched in 2018, cOAlition S is trying to make all of the world's state-backed scientific papers open-access.
  • Prestigious publishers like Springer Nature and Elsevier have now adopted a Plan S option for researchers.
  • While more studies will be available to read for free, some of the expense is being passed back to authors, which could limit research in the future.
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People in these countries think their government did a good job of dealing with the pandemic

Spoiler: Most people actually approved of their government's approach.

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How well did your country respond to the pandemic?
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The issues and ideas that mattered most to Americans in 2020

Google's "Year in Search 2020" results reveal a year when "why" was searched more than ever.

Big Think
  • Google has released its latest "Year in Search" results, an aggregation of its 2020 data that reveals the year's most pressing ideas, concerns, and questions.
  • Coronavirus and the election dominated trending searches, with most every other category orbiting these massive headline-generating forces.
  • However, the data also show people making the best of it, helping each other, and preparing for a better 2021.
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