Genetically modified foods are often regarded as "unnatural" and approached with distrust. Commentator Tania Lombrozo considers the psychology behind these reactions.
Why do so many people oppose genetically modified organisms, or GMOs? According to a new paper forthcoming in the journal Trends in Plant Science, it's because opposition to GMOs taps into deep cognitive biases. These biases conspire to make arguments against GMOs intuitive and compelling, whether or not they're backed by strong evidence.
The authors of the paper — a mix of philosophers and biologists — turn to research in the cognitive sciences to shed light on the mismatch between the public's perception of GMOs (which is fairly negative, especially in Europe) and the state of the evidence about their safety (which is fairly positive).
According to the U.S. Agriculture Department, the number of women-operated farms increased from 5 percent to 14 percent between 1978 and 2007. Today, counting principal operators and secondary operators, women account for 30 percent of all farmers in the United States, or just under 1 million.Some women regard themselves less as entrepreneurs and more as gentle stewards of the land, or bulwarks against corporations overtaking family farms and developers sweeping in with seductive offers. Others are drawn to the farm-to-fork movement, where locally grown produce and meat hold much greater appeal. Also, more women are inheriting farms and ranches.
On why a Prussian scientific visionary should be studied afresh…In a superb biography, Andrea Wulf makes an inspired case for Alexander von Humboldt to be considered the greatest scientist of the 19th century. Certainly he was the last great polymath in a scientific world which, by the time he died in Berlin in 1859, aged 89, was fast hardening into the narrow specializations that typify science to this day. Yet in the English-speaking world, Humboldt is strangely little-known.
"Being a fluent speaker of English and Saulteaux, I have to say that I view the world in two different ways. I have two different attitudes and even two different personalities, depending on which language I use...English offers me one way to order information and cope with reality, one set of attitudes and behavioral styles, and Saulteaux offers me a different way. When I switch languages, I also move from one constellation of attitudes and thought patterns to another.”
In this lesson, we provide strategies to help students accurately interpret maps, and we suggest ways for using current event maps as a tool to better understand both history and what’s going on in the world today.
Around the world, student activists are demanding that building and statutes commemorating historically figures whose legacies are now seen as morally dubious.
A new wave of international student activism has targeted names, mascots, statues and other symbols of historical figures at colleges and universities. Activists argue that the symbols should be removed as offensive reminders of hatred and violence. Many school officials acknowledge the historical complexities, but they argue that a better approach would be to teach students about the morally questionable acts of the past. Still others defend the symbols as harmless traditions.
"After a split of more than 1,000 years, the persecution of Christian by extremists in the Middle East and Africa have brought the two churches closer."
Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a first-ever encounter between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches since the Great Schism of 1054.
"A deadly fungus, known as Panama disease, is decimating banana plantations around the world and threatens to wipe out the most common species, the Cavendish banana. Scientists in Honduras are working to create a resistant banana before the disease hits Latin America, where the majority of the fruit is grown. NewsHour's Mori Rothman reports."
"As the saying goes, 'All roads lead to Rome.' Folks at the moovel lab were curious about how true this statement is, so they tested it out. They laid a grid on top of Europe, and then algorithmically found a route from each cell in the grid to Rome, resulting in about half a million routes total. Yep, there seems to be a way from Rome from every point."
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