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Why So Many Young People Hate STEM Courses

Ever since I can remember, I was constantly asking questions. My parents called me “Miss Inquisity” because of it. I was that quirky kid on the playground who played with butterflies and spied for ladybugs. After I came home from school, I binged How It’s Made on the Science Channel. Oh, that’s what makes my […]

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NASA Investigates Renaming James Webb Space Telescope after Anti-LGBT+ Claims

NASA is considering whether to rename its flagship astronomical observatory, given reports alleging that James Webb, after whom it is named, was involved in persecuting gay and lesbian people during his career in government. Keeping his name on the US$8.8-billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)—set to launch later this year—would glorify bigotry and anti-LGBT+ sentiment, […]

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Heat Wave Death Toll Will Rise With Thorough Count

When the Washington State Department of Health said this week that the recent heat wave in the Northwest had killed 117 people, many people missed an important word in the announcement. Preliminary. The death tallies being released by state and county officials are early estimates based on records that the officials acknowledge typically undercount heat-related […]

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Western Drought Has Lasted Longer than the Dust Bowl

It has lasted longer than the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. It’s dropped water levels perilously low at two of the nation’s largest reservoirs, forced ranchers to sell off herds and helped propel scorching wildfires. And worst of all, the drought blanketing the western United States is not going away. A group of experts featuring […]

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To Save Bats and Their Habitats, We Must Protect the Land Rights of Indigenous People

In the spring of 2020, as COVID was ravaging communities across the globe, word spread to the village of Culden, Peru, that the virus that causes COVID originated in bats. Mistakenly believing that the animals spread the virus to humans, inhabitants of the village burned a nearby colony of mouse-eared bats, intent on extermination. During […]

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Drought Threatens to Close California Hydropower Plant for First Time

A California power plant likely will shut down for the first time ever because of low water during a prolonged drought, squeezing the state’s very tight electricity supplies, state officials said yesterday. The Edward Hyatt power plant, an underground facility next to Oroville Dam in Butte County, is expected to close in August or September, […]

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What You Know about Trump’s Assault on Science Was Just the Tip of the Iceberg

From political manipulation of COVID-19 research to censorship of weather forecasters who tried to contradict President Trump’s false claims about Hurricane Dorian, the Trump years were punctuated by jaw-dropping episodes of scientific misconduct. But those are just the cases that couldn’t be covered up. There were countless more that were never made public. That’s why […]

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The Power of Local Celebrities in the Fight against Vaccine Hesitancy

Calling all doctors, local politicians, clergy, social media influencers, and others with clout in your communities: Please become public advocates for vaccines. Right now. Calling all local journalists, too: Please amplify your neighbors’ advocacy, and add some of your own. This is a time when you should transcend the norms of your craft. You cannot […]

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Highest-Energy Particles Yet Arrive from Ancient Crab Nebula

A little before sunrise on July 4, A.D. 1054, imperial astronomers of the Song Dynasty in China spotted an unknown star lighting up the eastern sky. “It’s as bright as Venus, with pointed rays in all four directions and a reddish-white color,” they wrote in notes delivered to the emperor. The glow, which remained visible […]

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COVID Vaccines Will Not Reach Poorest Countries Until 2023

Most people in the poorest countries will need to wait another two years before they are vaccinated against COVID-19, researchers have told Nature. Around 11 billion doses are needed to fully vaccinate 70% of the world’s population against COVID-19. As of 4 July, 3.2 billion doses had been administered. At the current vaccination rate, this will […]