There’s no workplace equity for women in STEM – and COVID-19 made it worse

The events of 2020 are reshaping the way we live, work, teach, and learn. And while we have all been affected differently, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women has been particularly significant. A recent report by the Rapid Research Information Forum found the pandemic has left women facing disproportionate increases in caring responsibilities and disruptions to working hours and job security. The hard-won gains made by women in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) are at risk, especially if employers of people with STEM skills do not closely monitor and mitigate the gender impact of their decisions. The… This story continues at The Next Web...
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New 3D model reveals Venus’ volcanoes are actually still active

The volcanoes of Venus are still active today, with at least 37 areas showing recent activity, a new 3D model reveals. This simulation from the University of Maryland and the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich shows the surface of Venus as being geologically alive. These Venusian volcanoes form in clusters, potentially revealing details of activity taking place beneath the surface of our neighboring world. “This is the first time we are able to point to specific structures and say ‘Look, this is not an ancient volcano but one that is active today, dormant perhaps, but not dead. This study… This story continues at The Next Web...
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How studying our reaction to coronavirus can help us fight climate change

Climate change and COVID-19 are the two most significant crises faced by the modern world – and widespread behavior change is essential to cope with both. This means that official messaging by the government and other authorities is critical. To succeed, leaders need to communicate the severe threat effectively and elicit high levels of public compliance, without causing undue panic. But the extent to which people comply depends on their psychological filters when receiving the messages – as the coronavirus pandemic has shown. With COVID-19, the early messaging attempted to circumscribe the nature of the threat. In March, the WHO… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Ultraviolet light gives astronomers new clues on mysterious stellar eruptions

White dwarfs explode under certain conditions, but the causes of these events remain a mysterious process. However, the detection of a flash of ultraviolet light from one of these explosions could help answer questions about these stellar eruptions. This is just the second time such a flash of energy has been seen by astronomers during one of these events. It could also help researcher better understand the formation of heavy elements, such as iron, as well as providing a look at one of the great mysteries of the Universe — dark energy. “The UV flash is telling us something very… This story continues at The Next Web...
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The dangers SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will face during its return to Earth

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, produced by private company SpaceX, is scheduled to return from the International Space Station (ISS) and splash down in the Atlantic ocean on August 2. Contingent on a favorable weather forecast and a successful final week at the ISS, NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will begin the undocking procedure on August 1, and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere the next day – a total of 64 days since liftoff. The historic launch took place on May 30 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marking the first time a commercial space company has carried humans into… This story continues at The Next Web...
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A history of internet shutdowns in Africa and their impact on human rights

It’s broadly accepted that there’s a close relationship between development and access to information. One of the first economists to make the link was Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for his contributions to welfare economics. Increasingly over the past two decades, the internet has been a major factor affecting the right to development. The United Nations definition of this right is that: Every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development. Today, all African countries have access to the internet, though the digital divide… This story continues at The Next Web...
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This new cosmological map shines some light on dark energy

Dark energy is one of the greatest mysteries in science today. We know very little about it, other than it is invisible, it fills the whole universe, and it pushes galaxies away from each other. This is making our cosmos expand at an accelerated rate. But what is it? One of the simplest explanations is that it is a “cosmological constant” – a result of the energy of empty space itself – an idea introduced by Albert Einstein. Many physicists aren’t satisfied with this explanation, though. They want a more fundamental description of its nature. Is it some new type… This story continues at The Next Web...
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This is what plastic pollution may look like in 2040

During a visit to a bookstore a few weeks ago, we couldn’t help but stare at a display unit featuring no fewer than ten books telling you how to rid plastics from your daily life. We’re bombarded by information on the topic of marine litter and plastic pollution, but how much do we really know about the problem? Think about other planetary challenges, like climate change or ozone layer depletion. Mature areas of research have developed around them, allowing scientists to identify where the gases that cause these problems come from, and how much reaches the atmosphere each year. But… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Russian cyberspies are attempting to steal coronavirus vaccine information

A Russian cyberespionage group that hacked into election networks before the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now attempting to steal coronavirus vaccine information from researchers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. The governments of those three countries issued a warning on July 16 saying that the group known as APT29 or “Cozy Bear” is targeting vaccine development efforts. The group, which is connected with the FSB, Russia’s internal security service, had gotten inside the Democratic National Committee networks prior to the 2016 election. This latest incident illustrates yet again how, beyond carrying all of our phone, text, and internet communications,… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Remote jury trials in times of COVID-19

On March 23, 2020, jury trials in England and Wales were suspended in response to COVID-19. This was done to protect public safety as social distancing measures were difficult to implement in courtrooms. Since then, several proposals, such as remote trials, have been put forward to address how jury trials might continue, and how to tackle the backlog of crown court cases which currently stands at over 40,500. Jury trials are used in the most serious criminal cases and are generally seen as fair, representative, and an essential part of the UK criminal justice system, which works on the presumption… This story continues at The Next Web...
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