New research using advanced computer modeling sheds light on how behaviors may become "contagious" in large groups, showing that the memory of one individual can indirectly influence that of another via shared social connections. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Here’s how to cause a ruckus: Ask a bunch of naturalists to simplify the world. We usually think in terms of a web of complicated interactions among animals, plants, microbes, earth, wind, and fire—what Darwin called “the entangled bank.” Reducing the bank’s complexity to broad generalizations can seem dishonest. So when Tony Ives, a theoretical ecologist at the University of Wisconsin, prodded his colleagues at the 2013 meeting of the Ecological Society of America by calling for a vote on whether they ought to seek out general laws, it probably wasn’t surprising that two-thirds of the room voted no.1 Despite the skepticism, the kinds of general laws made possible by simplification have remarkable predictive powers. They could let us calculate how many species there are in ecosystems that are too big to sample thoroughly, or how many will be lost after habitat destruction.
Mass panic? Stampedes? Nonsense, say the experts trying to stop another disaster like last week’s in Mecca: they’re failures of management, and they aren’t inevitable. So why aren’t they a thing of the past?
New research shows that more than 5.5 million people die prematurely every year due to household and outdoor air pollution. More than half of deaths occur in two of the world's fastest growing economies, China and India.
A century and a half ago, James Clerk Maxwell submitted a long paper to the Royal Society containing his famous equations. Inspired by Michael Faraday’s experiments and insights, the equations unified electricity, magnetism and optics. Their far-reaching consequences for our civilisation, and our universe, are still being explored
From possible ice volcanoes to twirling moons, NASA's New Horizons science team is discussing more than 50 exciting discoveries about Pluto at this week's 47th Annual Meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in National Harbor, Maryland.
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