Read — 2015/02/07

by shwolff

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Talking to vaccine resisters“, by Seth Mnookin (The New Yorker). In light of the measles outbreak in the U.S., an article exploring how to persuade parents “anxious about vaccines”. More reliable data would help.
  2. China’s fog weights heavily on shoulders of its premier architect“, by Ian Johnson (NY Times). Wu Liangyong, architect and urban planner, laments that “Our environment is unfit for daily life”. Interesting to note (i) M Wu’s emphasis on being “fully conversant in Chinese and foreign ideas” and (ii) the over-sized influence of dashi (grand masters) on the career and life trajectories of younger generations.
  3. Slipstream fiction goes mainstream“, by Anna Russell & Jennifer Maloney (Wall Street Journal). Testing the boundaries of the real world.

In science:

  1. Gauging gatekeeper performance“, by Barbara R. Jasny (Science). Bottom line: Journal editors typically select articles that go on to be more highly cited (endogeneity bias?), but also tend to miss paradigm-shifting articles.
  2. Seafloor grooves record the beat of ice ages“, by Eric Hand (Science). Study of abyssal hills reveals a nifty self-regulating geoprocess: declining ocean levels during ice ages decrease pressure on magma from seafloor spreading centers, leading to more magma flow and CO2 emission, in turn heating the globe.
  3. Africa’s soil engineers: termites“, by Elizabeth Pennisi (Science). Link to the scientific article.
  4. Japanese neutrino physicists think really big“, by Dennis Normile (Science). Step aside, Super-K: Hyper-K wants to join the hunt.
  5. A classroom experiment“, by Jeffrey Mervis (Science). Bringing more-educated and more-passionate teachers into secondary-school classrooms may not be the (full) answer.
  6. Assessing the value of undergraduate research“, by Pamela J. Hines (Science). Mentoring looms large.