Category: In the news

2020’s wake up calls stir action in STEM

As scientists, we’re taught to believe in objectivity; in washing our hands of biases in pursuit of truth. As academics scrambling up an increasingly precarious career ladder, we’re taught to believe in meritocracy; that anyone who tries hard enough can succeed. But clinging to objectivity, meritocracy, and apoliticism often blinds scientists to the inequities they

Negotiations between Elsevier and the UC: a fight over open access

In February 2019, negotiations to renew an $11 million-a-year contract between the University of California (UC) and the academic publisher Elsevier ended, leaving researchers and students UC-wide without any official access to Elsevier’s upcoming publications. The giant Elsevier publishes around 20 percent of the natural and medical sciences articles in more than 2,500 journals, including

The Science of the Megafire: Why California’s wildfires continue to get more destructive

Dirty and toxic air, fiery red skies, whole cities scrambling for respirator masks and sheltering indoors: this is what Bay Area residents experienced as two wildfires—some of the most destructive in California history—burned simultaneously in November 2018. As a post-apocalyptic scene dawned over the Bay Area, thousands of homes were destroyed in the blazes more