Steven Pinker: How Soon Will Genetic Enhancement Create Smarter Humans?

Today's video is part of a series on genius, in proud collaboration with 92Y's 7 Days of Genius Festival.

Participatory democracy is presumed to be the gold standard. Here’s why it isn’t.

Political activism may get people invested in politics, and affect urgently needed change, but it comes at the expense of tolerance and healthy democratic norms.

Photo by Nicholas Roberts /Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Polarization and extreme partisanships have been on the rise in the United States.
  • Political psychologist Diana Mutz argues that we need more deliberation, not political activism, to keep our democracy robust.
  • Despite increased polarization, Americans still have more in common than we appear to.
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Astronomers spot only the 2nd interstellar object ever seen

An amateur astronomer discovers an interstellar comet on its way to our Sun.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • The comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) was spotted by an amateur astronomer.
  • The object is moving so fast, it likely originated outside our solar system.
  • The comet should be observable for another year.
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Why the illusory truth effect works

Repeating lies makes people believe they are true, show studies.

Mind & Brain
  • Two recent studies looked at the illusory truth effect.
  • The effect describes our propensity to start believing untrue statements if they are repeated.
  • The phenomenon is a universal bias linked to cognitive fluency but can be counterbalanced.
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