What do people around the world think about climate change?

Global warming appears to be front of mind for people worldwide.

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Climate change is reversible – that's the view of 80% of Chinese people, according to a report from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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Hive mind: The good, the bad, and the viral

What is the hive mind? Turns out there are antisocial and prosocial dimensions to it.

  • The hive mind is a shared intelligence or consciousness between groups of people. It determines what we think is culturally acceptable, what we think is fashionable, and even what we think is true. We source most of our information and beliefs from other people and not from ourselves, says psychology professor Sarah Rose Cavanagh.
  • The hive mind often comes under fire in the U.S. because it is a highly individualistic culture that frowns upon things like mindless conformity, echo chambers, and group think. Those are the antisocial aspects of collective thinking.
  • There are also prosocial features, explains Cavanagh. The hive mind allows us to draw on collective knowledge in positive ways, without needing to reinvent the wheel each time.
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Scientists can now predict at birth who will have academic success

Study identifies predictors of which students are likely to do well in education.

  • Researchers looked at data from 5,000 students and found 2 factors that were strongly linked to academic success.
  • Students with genetic predisposition towards academics were much more likely to go to University.
  • Equally important was having well-educated parents with wealth.
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Christmas and New Year's are days of celebration in many parts of the world when people gather with family and friends. One thing many typically don't celebrate on those days is a birthday.

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America’s largest public library ditches late fees

With the realization that overdue charges disproportionately affect access for low-income readers, libraries are reconsidering the value of fees.

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  • The Chicago Public Library found that a third of their economically disadvantaged members had been denied borrowing privileges due to overdue books.
  • Overdue fines account for a tiny fraction of library funding, so the ramifications of ending them are more social than financial.
  • Though 92% of U.S. libraries still charge late fees, the number is shrinking.
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