Inspired by a cat’s ability to land silently and safely on its paws from great heights, researchers from Zhejiang University in China and Bristol Composites Institute in the UK have designed a soft, flexible and energy-dissipating material.
The publisher Springer
Nature has retracted over 40 papers from its Arabian
Journal of Geosciences. One of the notices succinctly states: The
Editor-in-Chief and the Publisher have retracted this article because the
content of this article is nonsensical. Why would anyone doubt such
scholarly works as: “Simulation of sea surface temperature based on
non-sampling error and psychological intervention of music education”; or even
“Distribution of earthquake activity in mountain area based on embedded system
and physical fitness detection of basketball”?
Men from Mars and Penguins from Venus? Earlier
this year we had the saga of phosphine gas indicating life on Venus. Possibly,
perhaps and finally not even there. Now we have the
Daily Star, that doyen of scientific journals, suggesting that penguins
might be extra-terrestrials due to phosphine being detected in their guano.
Never mind phosphine, perhaps we have a surfeit of nitrous oxide.
North and South
Analysis of the backgrounds of over
1,000 authors involved in the 100 most cited climate change research papers
from 2016-2020 found that 90% of these scientists were affiliated with academic
institutions from North America, Europe or Australia. Fewer than 1% of the
authors were based in Africa, while only 12 of the papers had a female lead
researcher. The worry being that this lack of diversity creates blind spots to
the needs of some of the most vulnerable people to climate change.
Do conversations end when people want them to?
A Harvard study earlier this
year found conversations tend to go on for too long because people are too
polite to end them. Adam Mastroianni, who led the study, explained there
is generally a “coordination failure” about when to end conversations. “People
feel like it’s a social rupture to say, ‘I’m ready to go’… Because of that, we
are skilled at not broadcasting that information.”