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Science Technology

Social media companies hold power to stop misinformation

“FAKE NEWS” has been shouted louder than almost anything else over the last few years. Coming to the forefront with the wild accusations of Donald Trump, fake news has stayed an issue in the Covid-19 pandemic, continuing to support dangerous behaviour. Current efforts to mitigate the spread of misinformation rely on readers fact checking articles, […]

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Health Science

Retractions and Covid-19: a look into bad science

Every once in a while, we are reminded of the wisdom in ancient tales. During the current pandemic, we are specifically reminded of one of the most famous tales of Aesop’s fables, the “tortoise and the hare”, which gave rise to the famous idiom “slow and steady wins the race”. The metaphorical race, in this […]

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Linguistics Science

Shifting linguistics: how we mimic those around us

Have you ever been on holiday, or been with a group of friends, or at a new workplace, and found that your accent or way of speaking has changed? Maybe you’ve started using slang terms you’d never even heard of before, or the initial words that come to your mind are something different than the […]

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Environment Science Technology

University of Iowa researchers find new way to recycle e-waste

Phones are great fun until you live near the Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex and its smouldering lake of “toxic sludge”. Rare-earth metals are the key ingredient in all the devices which connect us, but they come at a cost. Extraction and refinement processes often require a fantastic amount of energy and vast vats […]

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Science Space Technology

Perseverance rover lands safely on Mars: a new decade of exploration

In some rare but welcome positive news, the new rover Perseverance (a.k.a. Percy) safely landed on Mars on February 18 at 20:55 UTC. The rover is equipped with seven cameras uniquely tasked with filming its entry, descent and landing, which allowed NASA to collect over 30 gigabytes of information and more than 23,000 images. If […]

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Science Technology

Nevada legislation could allow billionaires to create local governments

You thought a Biden presidency would mean an end to America’s slow descent into a corporate dystopia? That’s adorable. In his January State of the State Address, governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak proposed a bill that would allow for the creation of ‘Innovation Zones’, in which firms would be able to exert powers comparable to […]

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Health Science

Lying by omission: how graphs can shape Covid coverage

Badly presented statistics cost lives. The stakes have never been higher: over the past year, the careless misrepresentation of data has brewed uncertainty, conspiracy, and the deaths of loved ones. And so, in our quest to gain true insight into the state of the pandemic, we must be prepared to battle this statistical ineptitude, along […]

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Environment Science Technology

Elon Musk: saving our cities from the future

Tesla made a profit for the first time in its chequered twelve-year history. This, by itself, is not surprising. Tech companies will often operate at a loss for years, subsisting off of vulture capital funding until breaking even. What is different about Tesla’s news is that this represents a shift in how the public perceives […]