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Remote working is here to stay – but that doesn't mean the end of offices or city centres

Remote working is here to stay – but that doesn't mean the end of offices or city centres

provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.When coronavirus lockdowns were introduced, the shift to remote working was sudden and sweeping. Now the British government is hoping the return to the office – to help the economy “get back to normal”. But pushing everyone back to the office full time fails to recognise the many benefits that working from home has brought. It also fails to capitalise on this moment of change.The mass homeworking experiment in the middle of a pandemic presented some of the most challenging circumstances possible. Yet, coming out the other side of it,...

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Jane Parry
Sep 2
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Alcohol and your brain: study finds even moderate drinking is damaging

Alcohol and your brain: study finds even moderate drinking is damaging

provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.It’s a well-known fact that drinking too much alcohol can have a serious impact on your health, including damaging your liver. But how much is too much? For conditions such as liver cirrhosis, that’s usually more than – around two bottles of wine a week or one and a half pints of beer a day. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer recommends that adults don’t drink more than a week to keep the risk of health problems low.However, the liver isn’t the only organ that can be damaged by drinking – the brain can be damaged, too. Drinking over the...

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Tony Rao
Sep 11
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Pessimists have been saying America is going to hell for more than 200 years

Pessimists have been saying America is going to hell for more than 200 years

Pessimism looms large in America today. It’s not just because of Donald Trump, the . It’s COVID-19, a faltering economy, the growing power of Russia and China, fires and climate change – you name it.Journalists and analysts have launched warnings: American ; the ; the . If Trump loses, there’s no certainty that the U.S. will make it to of potential political chaos.That’s no delusion. The bleak scenarios are a possibility, although the probability is that the United States will not descend, any time soon, into a . The presidential election could well be contested – although the nation will...

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Maurizio Valsania
Sep 17
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Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water

Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water

provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and sea ice begins to grow once more. This point is known as the annual sea ice minimum extent. It has declined consistently over the past 15 years, and 2019 was the second lowest after 2012 in 42 years of continuous satellite records. This year’s minimum is imminent, and there is already coverage than last year.What’s causing this decline in minimum sea ice extent? The short answer is our changing climate. But the more specific answer is...

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Tom Rippeth
7d ago
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped shape the modern era of women's rights – even before she went on the Supreme Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg helped shape the modern era of women's rights – even before she went on the Supreme Court

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, the Supreme Court announced.Chief Justice John Roberts that “Our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature.”Even before her appointment, she had reshaped American law. When he nominated Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, President Bill Clinton compared her legal work to the epochal work of Thurgood Marshall on behalf of African-Americans.The comparison was entirely appropriate: As the legal strategy that culminated in , the 1954 case that outlawed segregated schools, Ginsburg coordinated a similar effort against sex discrimination.Decades before...

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Jonathan Entin
Oct 2
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Why a vaccine can provide better immunity than an actual infection

Why a vaccine can provide better immunity than an actual infection

provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.Two recent studies have confirmed that people previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be reinfected with the virus. Interestingly, the two people had different outcomes. The showed no symptoms on the second infection, while the case from had more severe disease the second time around. It is therefore unclear if an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 will protect against subsequent reinfection.Does this mean a vaccine will also fail to protect against the virus? Certainly not. First, it is still unclear how common...

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Maitreyi Shivkumar
Sep 14
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Andrew Forrest's high-tech plan to extinguish bushfires within an hour is as challenging as it sounds

Andrew Forrest's high-tech plan to extinguish bushfires within an hour is as challenging as it sounds

provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.The philanthropic foundation of mining billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has unveiled a to transform how Australia responds to bushfires.The project aims to use emerging technologies to rapidly find and extinguish bushfires. The goal is to be able to put out any dangerous blaze within an hour by 2025.Some of the proposed technology includes and aerial surveillance robots, autonomous fire-fighting vehicles and on-the-ground remote sensors. If successful, the plan could alleviate the devastating impact of bushfires Australians face each...

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James Jin Kang
Sep 15
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A new quantum paradox throws the foundations of observed reality into question

A new quantum paradox throws the foundations of observed reality into question

provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Perhaps not, some say.And if someone is there to hear it? If you think that means it obviously did make a sound, you might need to revise that opinion.in quantum mechanics – one of our two most fundamental scientific theories, together with Einstein’s theory of relativity – that throws doubt on some common-sense ideas about physical reality.Take a look at these three statements:When someone observes an event happening, it really happened.It is possible to...

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Eric Cavalcanti
Aug 23
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Earth may temporarily pass dangerous 1.5℃ warming limit by 2024, major new report says

Earth may temporarily pass dangerous 1.5℃ warming limit by 2024, major new report says

provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century. A new report by the World Meteorological Organisation warns this limit may be exceeded by 2024 – and the risk is growing.This first overshoot beyond 1.5℃ would be temporary, likely aided by a major climate anomaly such as an El Niño weather pattern. However, it casts new doubt on whether Earth’s climate can be permanently stabilised at 1.5℃ warming.This finding is among those just published in a report titled . We contributed to the report, which was...

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Pep Canadell
Sep 9
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How tech billionaires' visions of human nature shape our world

How tech billionaires' visions of human nature shape our world

provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.In the 20th century, politicians’ views of human nature shaped societies. But now, increasingly . Their view of human nature may shape the 21st century. We must know what technologists see in humanity’s heart.The economist proposed two visions of human nature. The sees people as naturally good. The world corrupts us, but the wise can perfect us.The tragic vision sees us as inherently flawed. Our sickness is selfishness. We cannot be trusted with power over others. There are no perfect solutions, only imperfect trade-offs.Science . So does...

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Simon McCarthy-Jones
Sep 11
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Child's play in the time of COVID: screen games are still 'real' play

Child's play in the time of COVID: screen games are still 'real' play

provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU. provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.Play is a core part of a , through which children develop social, communication, cognitive and physical skills.Children’s play adapts to its circumstances. Recently children have been incorporating , such as , where the point is to “infect” as many children as possible. Play is also likely to help children associated with the pandemic.With playgrounds, playdates and playcentres often off the menu, many parents and children are relying on digital games for play. But children’s...

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Jane Mavoa
Sep 10
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Hacking the pandemic: how Taiwan's digital democracy holds COVID-19 at bay

Hacking the pandemic: how Taiwan's digital democracy holds COVID-19 at bay

provides funding as a strategic partner of The Conversation AU.Taiwan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been among the world’s best. With a population almost the size of Australia’s, the island nation has only 496 confirmed cases of the disease and no locally acquired infections for months.The unlikely heroes of Taiwan’s success are “civic tech hacktivists”: coders and activists who the country’s digital minister describes as the “nobodies” who “hack democracy”.What began with the hackers of the “open source, open government” movement and student protesters has grown into an...

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Kelsie Nabben
Sep 11
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Neuralink: brain hacking is exceptionally hard, no matter what Elon Musk says

Neuralink: brain hacking is exceptionally hard, no matter what Elon Musk says

September 9, 2020 2.27pm BSTIf thoughts, feelings and other mental activities are nothing more than electrochemical signals flowing around a vast network of brain cells, will connecting these signals with digital electronics allow us to enhance the abilities of our brains?That’s what tech entrepreneur Elon Musk suggested in a recent presentation of the , an innovative brain-machine interface . But how feasible is his vision? When I raised some about the science, Musk saying: “It is unfortunately common for many in academia to overweight the value of ideas and underweight bringing them to...

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Andrew Jackson
Sep 9
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Could employers and states mandate COVID-19 vaccinations? Here's what the courts have ruled

Could employers and states mandate COVID-19 vaccinations? Here's what the courts have ruled

A safe and effective vaccine could end the coronavirus pandemic, but for it to succeed, will have to get inoculated.Recent polls suggest that the U.S. is far from ready. Most surveys have found that of adults say they would probably get the vaccine. While that might protect most people who get vaccinated, research suggests it to reach herd immunity and stop the virus’s spread.As a who has written about the legal questions around vaccination laws, employment discrimination and religious exemptions, I see four possible approaches that governments and employers can take to ensure enough...

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Debbie Kaminer
Jul 21
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The secret history of News Corp: a media empire built on spreading propaganda

The secret history of News Corp: a media empire built on spreading propaganda

provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.News Corp must have been startled to find itself in this election campaign. But this is just another sign that, in recent years, the company’s ability to read the public mood has gone wildly off-kilter.From the decision of the jury in the sexual assault trial of Cardinal George Pell to last week’s on Bill Shorten using his deceased mother as ammunition, there are mounting signs of panic and folly at one of Australia’s largest media companies.With the media and political landscape shifting rapidly around the company, there is a...

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Sally Young
May 15
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If Trump refuses to accept defeat in November, the republic will survive intact, as it has 5 out of 6 times in the past

If Trump refuses to accept defeat in November, the republic will survive intact, as it has 5 out of 6 times in the past

provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump to accept the results of the election. Likewise, in 2020, his continued assault on the reliability and legitimacy of mail-in voting has laid the groundwork for on the basis of voter fraud. He has also refused to promise to observe the .This has led that a contested election would severely undermine faith in American democracy.Yet the United States has a long history of such contested elections. With one exception, they have not badly damaged the American political...

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Alexander Cohen
Sep 1
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Aristotle and the chatbot: how ancient rules of logic could make artificial intelligence more human

Aristotle and the chatbot: how ancient rules of logic could make artificial intelligence more human

provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation AU.Many attempts to develop artificial intelligence are powered by powerful systems of mathematical logic. They tend to produce results that make logical sense to a computer program — but the result is not very human.In our work , we have found using a different kind of logic — one first formalised by the Greek philosopher Aristotle more than 2,000 years ago — can produce results that are more fallible, but also much more like real people.Read more:The underpinning science of our chatbots is . Modern formal logic has its basis in...

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Dana Bradford
Aug 18
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'Morality pills' may be the US's best shot at ending the coronavirus pandemic, according to one ethicist

'Morality pills' may be the US's best shot at ending the coronavirus pandemic, according to one ethicist

COVID-19 is a collective risk. It threatens everyone, and we all must cooperate to lower the chance that the coronavirus harms any one individual. Among other things, that means . But , making spread of infection more likely.When someone chooses not to follow public health guidelines around the coronavirus, they’re defecting from the public good. It’s the moral equivalent of the : If everyone shares the same pasture for their individual flocks, some people are going to graze their animals longer, or let them eat more than their fair share, ruining the commons in the process. Selfish and...

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Parker Crutchfield
Aug 10
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Major quantum computational breakthrough is shaking up physics and maths

Major quantum computational breakthrough is shaking up physics and maths

provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.MIP* = RE is not a typo. It is a groundbreaking discovery and the catchy title of a recent in the field of quantum complexity theory. Complexity theory is a of “complexity classes” – collections of computational problems – of which MIP* and RE are but two.The 165-page paper shows that these two classes are the same. That may seem like an insignificant detail in an abstract theory without any real-world application. But physicists and mathematicians , even though they probably don’t understand it all. Because it turns out the discovery has...

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Ittay Weiss
Aug 14
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How Hollywood's 'Alien' and 'Predator' movies reinforce anti-Black racism

How Hollywood's 'Alien' and 'Predator' movies reinforce anti-Black racism

provides funding as a member of The Conversation CA-FR. provides funding as a member of The Conversation CA.What makes Black people more likely than others to be killed, beaten, tortured and raped by white police officers and vigilantes? Black women are even though this fact is often rendered invisible.A culture and history of racist misrepresentation may have something to do with it. Why has there been considerable tolerance among the silent majority of white people for animal-like, demonic representations of Black people in media and popular culture?The short answer is that we are dealing...

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Tamari Kitossa
Aug 16
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Pandemic letter from America: how the US handling of COVID-19 provides the starkest warning for us all

Pandemic letter from America: how the US handling of COVID-19 provides the starkest warning for us all

provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.This is one of our occasional , this time from an Australian visiting fellow in Washington, DC. Adam Elshaug, professor of health policy, asks how one of the world’s most inequitable health-care systems has coped with COVID-19. The short answer, he says, is that it provides a wake-up call for us all. It’s a long read.We all hoped for a rapid and effective COVID-19 response. For the United States, that has not occurred. It is now host to and deaths .With of the world’s population, the US accounts for about and of all deaths — deaths so...

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Adam Elshaug
Aug 13
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Political trolls adapt, create material to deceive and confuse the public

Political trolls adapt, create material to deceive and confuse the public

provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.Russian-sponsored Twitter trolls, who so to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election, didn’t stop when Donald Trump was elected president.Even after the election, they remained active and adapted their methods, including using images – among them, such as Hillary Clinton appearing to run away from police – to spread their views. As part of our study to understand how these trolls operate, we analyzed identified by Twitter itself as being part of Russian government-sponsored disinformation campaigns, from before the 2016...

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Gianluca Stringhini
Aug 13
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The Australian's racist Kamala Harris cartoon shows why diversity in newsrooms matters

The Australian's racist Kamala Harris cartoon shows why diversity in newsrooms matters

provides funding as a strategic partner of The Conversation AU.A Johannes Leak cartoon published in The Australian today, in which US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is depicted calling his vice-presidential running mate Kamala Harris a “little brown girl”, has drawn widespread condemnation.Several Australian politicians, including former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, have described the cartoon as racist, as have a suite of journalists and media observers (ex-Labor leader Mark Latham he loved it).I am firmly in the camp that thinks this is a racist and sexist cartoon. As a...

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Janak Rogers
Aug 14
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The COVID-19 virus can spread through the air – here's what it'll take to detect the airborne particles

The COVID-19 virus can spread through the air – here's what it'll take to detect the airborne particles

provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.A growing body of research shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread from person to person through the air. Indoor spaces with poor ventilation in areas where the virus is prevalent are particularly hazardous.In the fictional world of “Star Trek,” public health officials and first responders would be able to determine instantly if a space had a dangerous concentration of airborne virus, and any other pathogen, by simply waving around a .That technology, imagined 60 years ago, is still firmly in the realm of fiction....

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Hema Priyamvada Ravindran
Aug 14
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Indigenous Mexicans turn inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food

Indigenous Mexicans turn inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food

provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.While the coronavirus , some Indigenous communities in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca are finding creative ways to cope.Oaxaca, and most ethnically diverse states, is home to numerous Indigenous communities, including the Zapotec people. I have spent many years in the central valleys of Oaxaca conducting anthropological research in rural Zapotec villages, documenting the people’s , and .Now, my summer research in Oaxaca canceled due to the pandemic, I am learning from afar how the Zapotec are confronting the coronavirus...

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Jeffrey H. Cohen
Aug 11
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