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Elite Male Faculty Employ Fewer Women

Elite Male Faculty Employ Fewer Women

Jason Sheltzer is a graduate student in cancer genomics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. He works in the Amon Lab, where the principal investigator (PI), half the graduate students and half the postdocs are women. Sheltzer was astonished when a friend at Princeton University told him she was the first female graduate student at her PI’s physics lab in his 20-plus years as an academic. In fact, that bit of news prompted Sheltzer to take a closer look at gender distribution in […]



An Avian Villain Does Good — Sometimes

An Avian Villain Does Good — Sometimes

Great spotted cuckoos, found all along southern Europe during breeding season, are notoriously lazy parents. They lay eggs in the nests of unsuspecting carrion crows, which raise them alongside their own, and at their expense — or so we believed. Researchers in Spain report an unexpected finding in Science this week: cuckoo hatchlings, in fact, confer protection on the entire brood. Each spring, on average, the crow lays five eggs and doesn’t seem to worry about an egg or two the cuckoo might’ve snuck in. […]



Of Math & The Monkey God

Of Math & The Monkey God

Centum is Latin for hundred. I don’t know if Italians use the word anymore, but some people in India still do. To them, centum is what a smart kid would score on a math test. In the middle class neighborhood where I grew up, many adults seemed to believe that math scores were a perfectly good indicator – indeed, the only indicator – of a child’s I.Q. – the equivalent of a Mensa rating. Alas, my scores in arithmetic could never be rounded off to […]