Social Science in the News

The New York Times

If you took Psychology 101 in college, you probably had to enroll in an experiment to fulfill a course requirement or to get extra credit. Students are the usual subjects in social science research — made to play games, fill out questionnaires, look at pictures and otherwise provide data points for their professors’ investigations into human behavior, cognition and perception.

Nature

UK scientists worried about how Brexit will affect their funding received a boost this week, when the country's three main national parties pledged long-term targets to raise research spending.

Open Democracy

Azerbaijan is undergoing a protracted economic crisis, which its authoritarian Aliyev regime is having difficulty tackling.

Times Higher Education

Should PhD supervisors publish with their students? Should PhD students include their supervisors as co-authors on articles emanating from their PhD projects?

Eyewitness News

The spread of false information has always been with us, but it is something we face every day in the digital age.

Discover

Measurements at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory showed that the concentration of heat-trapping CO2 in the atmosphere had exceeded 410 parts per million.

The New York Times

The sixth graders at Newton Bateman, a public elementary school here with a classic red brick facade, know the Google drill.

iNews

Table football, ping pong and hammocks are no substitute for job security or work satisfaction and actually annoy many staff, a leading academic has warned.

NPR

New social science research shows a correlation between illegal gold mining and the spread of malaria.

BBC

Is the selfie culture coming into serious academic research?

The Independent

Citizens receiving a basic monthly income as part of a radical Finnish pilot scheme have seen a reduction in their stress levels, an official leading the trial has said.

Bloomberg

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former research assistant of mine, would not strike most people as a revolutionary.

Open Democracy

In attempting to reduce human rights abuses, both academics and practitioners focus on two mechanisms that can, at least at times, lead to respect for human rights.

Weekly Standard

A person of true culture, with a steady vision of the ideal of the good society, would probably loathe the notion of spin, find himself appalled by the pressure exerted upon him by special interests, be nauseated by the corruption of his colleagues who enrich themselves while claiming to be wily for the public good.

Discover Society

In her first statement as Prime Minister, Theresa May sympathised with those ‘ordinary’ families who ‘just about manage’, with mortgages, the cost of living, and job insecurity, recognising these families’ struggle for control over their lives. In this way, the ‘jams’ became the new ‘squeezed middle’.

Forbes

We all like to think we are in charge of the decisions we make.

The Guardian

Researchers will today begin a three-year project to design housing for refugee camps in extreme climates where temperatures range from 45C to -10C.

NPR

Studies show that people who spend more time on social media sites feel more socially isolated than those who don't.

Times Higher Education

Politics has always been vicious. “War without bloodshed,” Chairman Mao called it, but Theresa May has seen a chance for a political bloodletting at least, calling a snap election in June that promises to significantly increase the Conservatives’ parliamentary majority and could rout Labour altogether.

San Francisco Chronicle

Netflix’s new talk show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” debuted the night before people around the world joined together to demonstrate and March for Science.

Independent

Theresa May is under mounting pressure to remove foreign students from the immigration figures after MPs warned that her refusal to do so is damaging Britain’s world class universities.

Time

Awkward people are neither better, nor worse than anyone else — they simply see the world differently and have to exert more effort to master social graces that come intuitively to others.

Financial Times

The idea of analysing culture seems irritatingly vague and slippery to anybody who normally uses a spreadsheet to study the world.

The American Interest

For decades, many social scientists have promoted the view that conservatives are particularly closed-minded—that people on the political Right are more tribal in their thinking patterns, more vulnerable to propaganda that confirms their pre-existing ideas, and more skeptical of inconvenient facts.

Vox

When Per Espen Stoknes looked at polls going back to 1989 assessing the level of public concern about climate change in 39 different countries, he found a surprising pattern in the data.

UK Business Insider

A group of academics believes it has found a means by which to quantify how successful, or unsuccessful, Britain's final Brexit deal is, once talks conclude in March 2019.

The Conversation

In recent weeks, tensions over European immigration and liberal values have culminated in a direct attack on the Central European University in Budapest.

University of Sheffield

Children who spend more time social networking online feel less happy with a number of different aspects of their lives, according to new research by the University of Sheffield.

NPR

New social science research looks at how to get more low-income students into college.

Washington Post

When Hungary’s government passed a law last week which was effectively intended to shut down Budapest’s Central European University, it surely anticipated that there would be a backlash.

Pacific Standard

“Latino immigration is generally associated with decrease in homicide victimization,” Purdue University sociologist Michael Light writes in the journal Social Science Research.

CNBC

Artificial intelligence (AI) will bring about huge innovation to several sectors of the economy, including health care, predicts Aaron Levie, the co-founder and CEO of enterprise cloud company Box.

The Conversation

He’s been called “punctuation’s answer to Banksy”. A self-styled grammar vigilante who spends his nights surreptitiously correcting apostrophes on shop signs and billboards.

Times Higher Education

With an ageing population, a rise in long-term conditions, growing health inequalities, and a lack of political will to ensure that funding is increased in line with demand, the UK's National Health Service has been brought to breaking point.

The Daily Mail

Essays will be marked down unless they use 'gender-sensitive language', students at a British university have been told.

Science Daily

A study led by an Engineering Doctorate student at the University of Surrey has found that the carbon footprint of crime over the last 20 years has fallen.

The Conversation

The accusation that academia is disproportionately left-wing and liberal is not a new one.

Paste Magazine

The concept of love at first sight is the subject of sonnets and songs dating back centuries, and remains a popular trope in rom-coms and on television.

Phys.org

People exposed to entertainment television are more likely to vote for populist politicians according to a new study co-authored by an economist at Queen Mary University of London.

NPR

Growing up in a hungry household in the first couple of years of life can hurt how well a child performs in school years later, according to a new study.

The Guardian

The government’s focus has been on making a success of a small number of big cities – but there are 36.1 million people who don’t live in them, on the outside looking in.

Science News

Policy makers throughout the world, guided by behavioral scientists, are devising ways to steer people toward decisions deemed to be in their best interests.

Mashable

Abundant social science evidence on everything from global warming denial to moon landing conspiracy theories shows that simply giving people more information won't make them change their minds when they have strong preexisting beliefs.

The Herald

Data is an enabler.

The Irish Times

Despite the perception of poor job prospects, Tony Donohue, head of education and social policy at employers’ group Ibec, says arts, humanities and social science degrees are highly valued by employers.

Paste Magazine

Depression makes it hard to focus.

The Telegraph

Michael Gove had a point, up to a point. People don’t trust all experts the way they once did, and can be suspicious of their role in public policy.

Pacific Standard

The modern notion of scientists as disinterested, non-partisan figures arose (perhaps counterintuitively) during the Cold War, according to many historians.

Science Mag

For months after the United Kingdom voted last June to leave the European Union, many British scientists clung to hopes of a “soft Brexit,” which would not cut them off from EU funding and collaborators.

EurekAlert!

The rise of fake news has dominated the world of politics since the last U.S. election cycle.

The Conversation

Country rankings in international education tests – such as PISA and TIMSS – are often used to compare and contrast education systems across a range of countries.

International Business Tribune

Deadly viruses that cause panic and epidemics are becoming more common because of deforestation the depletion of natural habitats for wild animals.

The Conversation

It may seem that new relationships are entirely fuelled by dreams and hopes for a perfect future. But the past can have a powerful influence too – often more so than we would like to admit.

Washington Post

In early February, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he would not be making any changes to Canada’s electoral rules.

Public Finance

Last week the NHS released its latest monthly statistics on the number of patients facing delays in their transfers to care services. They make for grim reading.

The Financial Express

A 2014 Pew Research Center study also indicates that a majority of people in all of the forty-four countries polled described the gap between rich and poor as a problem for their country.

The Daily Mail

In today's digital age, they are relied upon by many people looking to find the best buy. But internet reviews can be wildly misleading, a study has found, because they are usually created by people who exaggerate how good a product is.

Ars Technica

To determine if new vaccines are effective, researchers often closely monitor trends in disease rates for a city or community. However, these observations can be confounded by changes in the health or behavior of the population, so a better “control” comparison is needed.

Phys.org

Research has shown that students' learning and cognitive performance can be influenced by emotional reactions to learning, like enjoyment, anxiety, and boredom. Most studies on this topic have been done in labs.

The Conversation

At an EU summit in Malta on February 3, Theresa May announced Britain would help support the resettlement of refugees who arrive in Europe to Latin America and Asia.

The Telegraph

The level of tax in Britain has reached the highest level as proportion of national income for 30 years, a respected think tank has found.

University of York

A legally regulated cannabis market would result in more effective strategies aimed at helping drug users to access the right support and guidance, say researchers at the University of York.

Science Daily

If you want to win an Oscar it is best to be an American actor in a film that portrays American culture.

HC Online

Employees working more than 39 hours a week are putting their health at risk, according to new research by The Australian National University.

University of Cambridge

Ancient DNA analyses show that – unlike elsewhere in Europe – farmers from the Near East did not overtake hunter-gatherer populations in the Baltic.

The Conversation

The use of body cameras by front line police and other uniformed enforcement agencies is increasing at an unstoppable rate both in the US and UK.

Phys.org

It is a utopian idea, literally, but is enjoying a renaissance as politicians and policy wonks grapple with technology-driven changes that could redefine our very understanding of work.

King's College London

Where people die is often important to them and their families, as well as being important for planning health care services.

Project Syndicate

Scientists continue to surprise us with amazing discoveries, and billions of people around the world have been lifted out of poverty.

iNews

The Government’s new industrial strategy focuses on STEM. This is welcome – we need knowledge and skills in this are.

The Daily Mail

After decades of picking up towels and washing dishes, many women might not believe it.

Bustle

Does taking your husband's last name mean you're "more committed" as a wife? Depending on who you talk to, the answer may be yes.

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

The article is about the importance of large birth cohorts, such as MoBa.

Phys.org

Religious education is key to community cohesion finds new research following a survey of nearly 12,000 13- to 15-year-old students attending schools across the United Kingdom.

The Washington Post

Social science research demonstrates that militant groups with a consistent revenue stream are better equipped to facilitate and sustain rebellions. Illicit trade in diamonds, narcotics and timber, for example, provides rebel leaders with funds to assemble fighting forces capable of confronting the government.

University of Manchester

The Supreme Court has ruled by a majority of eight to three that an Act of Parliament is necessary to trigger Article 50 and the formal Brexit process, and this judicial disagreement reflects the highly technical and complex nature of the issues at stake.

University of Cambridge

As convenient shorthand for a brand of politics that has stolen the headlines, ‘populism’ has been used by academics and journalists to describe a host of movements and their leaders at different times and in different parts of the world that appear, at first glance, to have little in common.

OPB

Since the early 2000s, a growing movement of social science researchers have been pushing policy-makers to do “impact evaluations” of their programs.

The Washington Post

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on saving American jobs and, since the election, has targeted automakers on Twitter, urging them to keep production domestic or face steep border taxes.

Science Daily

Researchers have written computer programs that found patterns among anonymized data about web traffic and used those patterns to identify individual users.

The Guardian

In theory, statistics should help settle arguments. They ought to provide stable reference points that everyone – no matter what their politics – can agree on.

Times Higher Education

Some social scientists, including us, will tell you that they thought Donald Trump could win the US presidential election. But few expected he really would.

University of Manchester

Psychologists from The University of Manchester have shown how difficult it is for us to guess the true intention of each other’s behaviour.

The New Yorker

In recent years, behavioral science has become a voguish field.

The Guardian

Like some of its rich-world peers, Britain has entered the age of the aged.

Washington Post

California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D) introduced a bill Wednesday that would require the state to establish curriculum standards and frameworks to teach “civic online reasoning” to middle- and high-schoolers.

Irish Times

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for a maximum wage for Britian’s highest earners, an ostensibly draconian measure necessary to stop the UK becoming a grossly unequal, bargain basement economy.

The Conversation

The future of higher education is back in the spotlight as the controversial Higher Education and Research Bill enters the next stage of scrutiny in the House of Lords this week.

CNBC

Digital technology puts a world of information at our fingertips, but it also allows bosses to reach into their workers' personal time with unprecedented ease.

WIRED

When did electricity take over from steam in the UK? When did football replace cricket as the most popular sport? And what year did women start to become more frequently mentioned in the press?

NPR

As smartphones have proliferated, so have questions about their impact on how we live and how we work.

The Independent

Society could come to an end in less than a decade, a “mathematical historian” has predicted.

The Guardian

Even today, more than fifty years after its first edition, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions remains the first port of call to learn about the history, philosophy or sociology of science.

NPR

Politically correct. Political correctness. Using the biggest bully pulpit there is, Trump has wielded the phrase and its variants like a club some days and a shield on others.

Politico

Recent reports that Russia hacked into the emails of Democratic Party officials to interfere with the U.S. presidential election have rightly set off alarm bells around Washington about the need for improved digital defenses.

Washington Post

Donald Trump has apparently chosen Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil, to be secretary of state. John R. Bolton, a hawkish Bush administration official and fierce supporter of the 2003 Iraq War, is in line to become the deputy secretary.

BuzzFeed

Researchers who study the spread of misinformation say they’d like to help Facebook get to grips with its fake news crisis.

The Washington Post

President-elect Donald Trump said Sunday that “nobody really knows” whether climate change is real and that he is “studying” whether the United States should withdraw from the global warming agreement struck in Paris a year ago.

The Conversation

Social scientists routinely promise confidentiality to those who participate in their research. They tell participants that they will not inform anyone else about their involvement with the research or they will not reveal what they have said. This is done to encourage and ensure frank participation.

University of Cambridge

Cutting welfare and social care budgets during times of economic hardship is an “historically obsolete” strategy that ignores the very roots of British prosperity, a group of Cambridge academics have warned.