Biden nominates Dr. Eric Lander as cabinet-level science adviser, in U.S. first

Dr. Eric Lander is a pioneer in genomics. What role will he play in the new administration?

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  • Dr. Lander is a mathematician and geneticist who's best known for his leading role in the Human Genome Project.
  • Biden nominated Dr. Lander to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy and also serve as a cabinet-level science adviser, marking the first time the position has been part of the presidential cabinet.
  • In an open letter, Biden said it's essential for the U.S. to "refresh and reinvigorate our national science and technology strategy to set us on a strong course for the next 75 years."
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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 law enforcement be using AI and cell phone data to find rioters?

The attack on the Capitol forces us to confront an existential question about privacy.

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  • The insurrection attempt at the Capitol was captured by thousands of cell phones and security cameras.
  • Many protestors have been arrested after their identity was reported to the FBI.
  • Surveillance experts warn about the dangers of using facial recognition to monitor protests.
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Survey shows Congress is more religious than America

A new survey shows who believes what and how it differs from what Americans believe as a whole.

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  • The newest survey of congressional religious beliefs shows our representatives aren't quite like us.
  • Members of Congress are much more religious and more Christian than the general population.
  • The effects of this disconnect are debatable.
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In 1988, Bernie Sanders outlined the key problem with news media today

"The function of private media is to make money for the people who own the media. It is a business," Sanders said.

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  • Over his four-decade political career, Senator Bernie Sanders has been an outspoken critic of mass news media.
  • In a 1988 speech, Sanders described how it's virtually impossible to meaningfully discuss substantial political issues in 30-second sound bites, and how the consolidation of news outlets makes it harder for alternative views to reach the public.
  • Surveys show that America's trust in mass media has been declining for years.
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