Elena Álvarez-Buylla will become the director of the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico. While many scientists are delighted that she'll be the first woman to do so, critics worry about her opposition to genetically modified maize, which could spoil the country's astonishing agricultural biodiversity.
An investigative report uncovers little recognized and unpoliced potential conflicts of interest among those who serve on FDA advisory panels that review drugs. FDA may also have missed or judged insignificant financial ties physicians had before their service on the drug approval advisory panels.
Three steps that could be taken by funding agencies to support young investigators in more constructive and effective ways: (1) greatly expand the use of the New Innovator/Starting Grants awards, (2) increase the funding of young investigators through requests for applications, and (3) experiment with separate competitions for Early Stage Investigators when awarding traditional investigator-initiated R01 grants.
Countries that are generally more egalitarian, or that have institutions more conductive to equality, have a lower gender performance gap in math, suggesting that this gap is partly shaped by more general societal inequalities.
To understand how false news spreads, Vosoughi et al. used a data set of rumor cascades on Twitter from 2006 to 2017. About 126,000 rumors were spread by ∼3 million people. False news reached more people than the truth; the top 1% of false news cascades diffused to between 1000 and 100,000 people, whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1000 people. Falsehood also diffused faster than the truth.
Artificial Intelligence Could Identify Gang Crimes—and Ignite an Ethical Firestorm
A new algorithm is trying to automate the process of identifying gang crimes. But some scientists warn that far from reducing gang violence, the program could do the opposite by eroding trust in communities, or it could brand innocent people as gang members.
How many scientific papers drop into the void, never to be cited by anyone, ever again? There are all sorts of estimates floating around, many of them rather worryingly high, but this look at the situation by Nature suggests that things aren't so bad.