Latest stories - The Conversation

9 Hours Ago   As Americans increasingly buy and install smart devices in their homes, all those cheap interconnected devices create new security problems for individuals and society as a whole.

2 Days Ago   Insect defecation may not seem like one of the pressing scientific inquiries of our time, but in fact the faeces of these wee creatures serves an extraordinary variety of functions in bug and human life.

3 Days Ago   This year, I served on the judging panel for The Royal Statistical Society’s International Statistic of the Year. On Dec. 18, we announced the winner: 90.5 percent, the amount of plastic that has never been recycled.

3 Days Ago   A lot happened in the world of paleontology in 2018. Some of the big events included some major fossil finds, a new understanding of our reptile ancestors and a major controversy whose outcome could rewrite human history.

3 Days Ago   As a birder, I had heard that if you paid careful attention to the head feathers on the downy woodpeckers that visited your bird feeders, you could begin to recognize individual birds.

5 Days Ago   Female research scientists are more productive than their male colleagues, though they are widely perceived as being less so. Women are also rewarded less for their scientific achievements.

5 Days Ago   Facial recognition technology has progressed to a point where it now interprets emotions in facial expressions. This type of analysis is increasingly used in daily life.

6 Days Ago   The hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. There seems to be no shortage of sensationalist news about how AI could cure diseases, accelerate human innovation and improve human creativity.

7 Days Ago   Should we be afraid of artificial intelligence? For me, this is a simple question with an even simpler, two letter answer: no. But not everyone agrees – many people, including the late physicist Stephen Hawking, have raised concerns that the rise of powerful AI systems could spell the end for humanity.

8 Days Ago   It’s an age-old question – what makes someone attractive? We often say things like “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but while this romantic notion may bring comfort to those dealt a poor hand in life, it also gives the impression that the foundations of attractiveness are elusive and unpredictable.

8 Days Ago   China became the third country to land a probe on the Moon on January 2. But, more importantly, it became the first to do so on the far side of the moon — often called the dark side.

9 Days Ago   Data breaches, widespread malware attacks, and microtargeted personalized advertising were lowlights of digital life in 2018. As technologies change, so does the advice security experts give for how to best stay safe.

10 Days Ago   Matt Cox knew he would be criticized when he forced his 10-year-old daughter to walk 5 miles to school in 36-degree weather as her punishment for being suspended from the school bus twice for bullying.

12 Days Ago   Last year I visited the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia – one of the best art museums in the world. I was expecting to serenely experience its masterpieces, but my view was blocked by a wall of smart phones taking pictures of the paintings.

14 Days Ago   When Amelia Earhart took off in 1937 to fly around the world, people had been flying airplanes for only about 35 years. When she tried to fly across the Pacific, she – and the world – knew it was risky.

14 Days Ago   Parents have long surprised their kids with a family vacation. However, the practice of parents recording their kids’ reactions – and then sharing them online – is a unique phenomenon of the social media age.

22 Days Ago   We are now truly living in the era of big data. And it’s not just companies like Facebook and YouTube that are reaping the benefits, big data is transforming science too.

24 Days Ago   The American dream is built on the notion that the US is a meritocracy. Americans believe success in life and business can be earned by anyone willing to put in the hard work necessary to achieve it, or so they say.

25 Days Ago   Every year, the time comes again when many of us switch our clocks from summer or daylight-saving time back to winter time. And the usual confusion sets in, is it an hour forwards or back?

26 Days Ago   I know it may be hard to convince you, but let me try: Don’t kill the next spider you see in your home. Why? Because spiders are an important part of nature and our indoor ecosystem – as well as being fellow organisms in their own right.

27 Days Ago   Artificial Intelligence (AI) is finding its way into more and more aspects of our daily lives. It powers the smart assistants on our mobile phones and virtual “home assistants.” It’s in the algorithms designed to improve our health diagnostics.

28 Days Ago   When those first fat drops of summer rain fall to the hot, dry ground, have you ever noticed a distinctive odor? I have childhood memories of family members who were farmers describing how they could always “smell rain” right before a storm.

28 Days Ago   The first step in conducting online propaganda efforts and misinformation campaigns is almost always a fake social media profile. Phony profiles for nonexistent people worm their way into the social networks of real people, where they can spread their falsehoods.

31 Days Ago   Two years ago, I came into work on December 1 to find a bag on my desk labelled “Karen’s Christmas Intervention”. It contained many Christmas themed gifts and challenges – such as watching a Christmas DVD and going to a carol service.

32 Days Ago   Somewhere in Silicon Valley, a man wakes early with the sunrise. Venturing into the kitchen, he pacifies his rumbling belly with a cup of coffee infused with a large knob of grass-fed butter.

686f919a6e3016f68d193275628c56e5 686f919a6e