The Future of Psychiatry Is Digital. That’s an Advantage.

The Future of Psychiatry Is Digital. That’s an Advantage.

Currently only half of people with depression access potentially adequate treatment, according to one study. Digital devices could help. Visual: Unsplash/Gilles Lambert VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. Ella, who is in her early 20s, has depression. When her sleep started to fall away after a stressful term at school, her smartphone was programmed…
The Fox in the Time Device

The Fox in the Time Device

The silver fox is the subject of one of biology’s longest running experiments. Visual: zoofanatic / Flickr VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. Like many breakthroughs in science, Dmitri Belyaev’s silver fox domestication experiment began with a thunderbolt: one simple, powerful, new idea. Born of a parish priest in early 20th century Russia, the…
If Bees Can Avoid Bad Info From Going Viral, so Can We

If Bees Can Avoid Bad Info From Going Viral, so Can...

Humans are not the only animals to display collective intelligence. Bees are also well known for their ability to make accurate collective decisions and are capable of avoiding maladaptive herding. Visual: Eric Ward/Unsplash VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. When it comes to making decisions, most of us are influenced to some degree by…
Looking for a Much Better Bender: The Case for Vitamin-Enriched Alcohol

Looking for a Much Better Bender: The Case for Vitamin-Enriched Alcohol

Fortifying beer with thiamine might significantly reduce cases of a debilitating brain disorder known as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. Visual: Adam Wilson / Unsplash VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. One of the most upsetting illnesses any psychiatrist encounters is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS). Caused by a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1), it results in devastating impairment…
Translating China’s Deceptive Culture of Science

Translating China’s Deceptive Culture of Science

The Chinese space program’s tightly controlled publicity of their historic landing on the far side of the moon in January could be seen as an example of the authority’s caution against embarrassment in the case of a touchdown failure. Visual: Wikimedia Commons VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. China’s recent scientific achievements — including…
Scrap Science or the Genuine Thing? ‘Reasoning’ Releases Both.

Scrap Science or the Genuine Thing? ‘Reasoning’ Releases Both.

Last summer, I noticed a peculiar email in my inbox. It was from someone I didn’t know, addressing me as “Professor Becker” (a misnomer), and asking me to write for an online publication called “Inference: International Review of Science.” Like hundreds of other emails, this one had languished in my inbox for months while I…
To Groom Better Researchers, Utilize the Power of Story

To Groom Better Researchers, Utilize the Power of Story

The “nature of science” movement in education encourages children to see themselves as characters in our collective story of discovery. Visual: Nikhita S / Unsplash VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. When I visited my childhood home last Thanksgiving, I came across a time capsule I made in kindergarten. It contained a memo to…
Research study Recommends We’re Not as Unreasonable as We Believe

Research study Recommends We’re Not as Unreasonable as We Believe

If you toss a coin and get four heads in a row, you probably have a gut feeling that a tails is due. This feeling, called the gambler’s fallacy, might not be as illogical as it seems. Visual: Robbie Biller/Flickr VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. Suppose you toss a coin and get four…
Our Illogical Worry of Sexbots

Our Illogical Worry of Sexbots

Artificially intelligent robots are increasingly able to produce lifelike movements, facial expressions, and speech. Visual: Justine Emard / Flickr VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. Over the past decade, Steve Bannon has brought a number of uncomfortable and unpleasant topics into the public discourse. Still, it came as a surprise last December to see…
Completion of Economic Development Is Inescapable. Let’s Prepare for It.

Completion of Economic Development Is Inescapable. Let’s Prepare for It.

If growth is meant to have anything to do with increasing quality of life, there is plenty of evidence to suggest it has passed the point of diminishing returns. Visual: Celvin Purnama/Unsplash VIEWPOINTS: Partner content, op-eds, and Undark editorials. Both the U.S. economy and the global economy have expanded dramatically in the past century, as…
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