‘What is a fact?’ A humanities class prepares STEM students to be better scientists

A professor shows science students how humanities classes are the real stem that other disciplines sprout from. They learn that critical thinking and skepticism don’t stop when they leave the lab.

Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair of English, Rice University • conversation
April 30, 2024 ~4 min

To build a better AI helper, start by modeling the irrational behavior of humans

A new technique can be used to predict the actions of human or AI agents who behave suboptimally while working toward unknown goals.

Adam Zewe | MIT News • mit
April 19, 2024 ~7 min

AI chatbots refuse to produce ‘controversial’ output − why that’s a free speech problem

AI chatbot makers’ restrictive use policies hinder people’s access to information.

Jacob Mchangama, Research Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University • conversation
April 18, 2024 ~10 min

Older Swiss women just set a global legal precedent for challenging their nation’s climate change policy

Their victory in the European Court of Human Rights is a huge win for the climate.

Aoife Daly, Professor of Law, University College Cork • conversation
April 11, 2024 ~6 min

A faster, better way to prevent an AI chatbot from giving toxic responses

Researchers create a curious machine-learning model that finds a wider variety of prompts for training a chatbot to avoid hateful or harmful output.

Adam Zewe | MIT News • mit
April 10, 2024 ~8 min

Pet flea and tick treatments contain pesticides that end up washing into the environment - here’s how

Pesticides present in pet flea and tick treatments pose a risk to human health and the environment - but monthly application as a preventative measure isn’t essential.

Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology (Evolution, Behaviour and Environment), University of Sussex • conversation
April 8, 2024 ~7 min

Feeling depleted? So is the planet. Here’s how to move from exhaustion to empowerment

A new book, The Exhausted Earth, outlines how capitalism leads to burnout - for people and planet. But regenerative solutions are possible if people focus on interconnectedness, not isolation.

Tom Oliver, Professor of Applied Ecology, University of Reading • conversation
April 8, 2024 ~8 min

Could sharing a bedroom with your pets be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep?

Pets provide a source of comfort and intimacy for many owners drifting off to sleep. But according to new research, they may also disrupt your ability to fall or stay asleep.

Brian N. Chin, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Trinity College • conversation
April 3, 2024 ~5 min

Characterizing social networks

A new method to measure homophily in large group interactions offers insights into how groups might interact in the future.

Stephanie Martinovich | Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering • mit
April 2, 2024 ~6 min

Most work is new work, long-term study of U.S. census data shows

The majority of U.S. jobs are in occupations that have emerged since 1940, MIT research finds — telling us much about the ways jobs are created and lost.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News • mit
April 1, 2024 ~9 min