New Scientist this week has published a short opinion piece that I wrote about ongoing human evolution: “Are humans still evolving? Growing evidence suggests we are”. (unfortunately requires login) I discuss a recent research paper by...Show More Summary
Joanna Klein in the New York Times reports on a new study by Lori D’Ortenzio and colleagues examining the lifetime history of rickets in “Old Teeth Tell New Stories About People Who Didn’t Get Enough Sun” They found that a 24-year-old...Show More Summary
A new Kickstarter-funded documentary is coming out about Dr. John Brinkley, the Kansas quack best known for his goat gland operations during the Roaring Twenties and into the Great Depression. The film is Nuts!. It seems to take an unusual...Show More Summary
Larry Moran comments on a recent study that attempted to quantify the increasing complexity of scientific papers: “The scientific literature is becoming more complex”. The meat of the study is that the average scientific paper now has...Show More Summary
Annalee Newitz has a great article in Ars Technica that reviews a bunch of recnet archaeological work on the urban complex of Angkor Wat: “How archaeologists found the lost medieval megacity of Angkor”. This is one of several cases in...Show More Summary
Traci Watson from National Geographic reports on a study of behavior in whales looking specifically at how members of social groups react to the death of an individual in their group: “Whales Mourn Their Dead, Just Like Us”. In one case, short-finned pilot whales in the North Atlantic Ocean made a protective circle around an adult and dead calf. Show More Summary
Predicting 9% of educational achievement from DNA is quite good. The authors used genotype arrays, so there's obvious room for growth in rare variation that is not covered by such arrays.I wonder when the public and policymakers will...Show More Summary
This morning I was taking notes on my laptop as an officer from the NYPD counter terrorism department’s SHIELD unit gave a room full of academic staff ‘active shooter’ training. As the first video was rolling, he walked over and stood behind me to see what I was typing and almost inaudibly asked the young man … Continue reading Situational Awareness ?
During my first research trip to northeastern Brazil, an off-duty police officer took me and three local homeless boys to the middle of a sugar cane field and held a loaded gun to each of our heads. He thought we had stolen his wallet, which contained three credit cards, a few bills, and his badge. … Continue reading Participant Outsider? ?
During the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, protestors streamed into the residence of former President Yanukovich at Mezhyhirya reclaimed it. The hat thief who became Head of State is charged with squandering billions of dollars during his years as President. Show More Summary
[Savage Minds welcomes guest blogger Kristen Drybread.] The 2016 Olympics in Rio are fast approaching. For the past two months, people I haven’t seen in years—and people I have never even met—have been emailing to ask if I can help them find an affordable and, above all, safe place to stay during the Games. Never … Continue reading Danger and the Rio Olympics ?
Hello everyone. I woke up this morning feeling heavy with sadness. Alton Sterling was killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A day after Philando Castile was murdered in Falcon Heights, Minnesota by the police. Social media hasShow More Summary
This entry is part 10 of 10 in the Decolonizing Anthropology series.By Krysta Ryzewski Detroit moves quickly; issues of scale and pace in a city of this size pose major challenge to contemporary archaeological practice. I’m not sure what a decolonizing archaeology should look like here, but it’s happening nonetheless. Show More Summary
John Bohannan in Science writes one of many stories about the Wellcome Trust establishing a new open access journal, in which peer review follows the posting of preprints: “U.K. research charity will self-publish results from its grantees”. Normally, peer review is anonymous and happens before publication of a paper. Show More Summary
Vegas Seven has a great interview with biological anthropologist Debra Martin: “Seven Questions With Biological Anthropologist Debra Martin”, touching on her work in bioarchaeology and how it relates to the public perception of forensics. Show More Summary
Virginia Morell’s excellent biography of the Leakey family, Ancestral Passions, includes a great discussion of the aftermath of the innovation of potassium-argon dating which demonstrated that the Zinjanthropus skull was much older than anyone had assumed. Show More Summary
In 1930, Robert Broom commented on the age of the Taung specimen. This is one of the earliest instances I have found of someone claiming that a fossil is “too recent” to be an ancestor: The little fossil ape skull that was found at Taungs five years ago is, in the opinion of many, the most important fossil ever discovered. Show More Summary
Nice piece from Kate Crawford in the New York Times about how predictive technologies used by Google and others go wrong when applied outside the context they were trained on: “Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem” If we look at how systems can be discriminatory now, we will be much better placed to design fairer artificial intelligence. Show More Summary