Politics in the Age of Social Media

Emily Weinstein & Howard Gardner— While there was never a “golden age” of politics, journalism, or democracy, social media has permanently disrupted assumptions that were widely shared for much of the twentieth century. In that earlier era, political parties were strong; candidates for major offices were vetted by people who

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Podcast: The Science of Human Evolution

How have humans evolved and what drives this evolution? Evolutionary biologist Scott Solomon, author of Future Humans, discusses the science of human evolution. Listen in iTunes.

Mass Media and the Global Village

It’s University Press Week and the theme this year is communities. As part of the annual blog tour, we’re taking a look at mass media and its effect on communities and the global village as a whole. Carlo Ratti & Matthew Claudel— A new form of communication exploded into the early

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What is a Database of Dreams?

Rebecca Lemov— A little-known turning point in the prosecution of World War II war crimes occurred in 1945 at Nuremberg. Sitting on his prison cot was Hermann Göring, recently captured Reichsfeldmarschall, founder of the Sturmabteilung (SA), creator of the first concentration camps, and a man who, not many weeks before,

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A Beginner’s Guide to Science Blogs

Christie Wilcox— I love writing a science blog. I write a lot of things—I’ve written peer-reviewed journal articles and a dissertation; I’ve written for major newspapers, science magazines, and chic, quirky outlets; I’ve even written a popular science book about venoms. But of all the writing I do, I have

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Piracy’s Impact on the Creative Class

Scott Timberg— When you ask people why they steal music, or why they don’t care about the collapse of the record industry, the more informed ones talk about the decadence of the labels themselves. Lowery, who teaches a course on the economics of music at the University of Georgia’s business school,

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5 Reasons Big Data Needs a History

Rebecca Lemov— Big Data is a topic that is big news, yet it is often raised in academic circles with trepidation. Here are some reasons why our understanding of big data, even as a fashion, can benefit from historical thinking. Big Data is a new(er) concept. The phrase “big data”

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The Invention of the Mobile Phone

Gavin Weightman— What have an old compass and a primitive battery got to do with the invention of the mobile phone? It’s a long story spanning more than two centuries and involves a cast of characters whose ingenuity and inquisitiveness first revealed, and then exploited, hidden forces that could be

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Robots in Our Midst: A Conversation with Jerry Kaplan

Jerry Kaplan, author of Humans Need Not Apply, says the robots are coming, but whether they will be working on behalf of society or a small cadre of the super-rich is very much in doubt. We sat down with him to discuss what the future may look like and how

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Ten Steps to Help a Loved One Who Has Hearing Loss

John M. Burkey— “How can I help?” is a common refrain from family and friends of a person with hearing loss. Spouses want to alleviate their partner’s struggles and frustration. Children want to prevent an aging parent’s autonomy from being affected. Acquaintances of all kinds want to improve communication not

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