Culture

We’ve studied gender and STEM for 25 years. The science doesn’t support the Google memo.

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These are some issues that males simply do not have to face. The “anxiety gap” exists for a reason, and it is not about biology. A Google engineer who was fired for posting an online claim that women’s biology makes them less able than men to work in technology jobs has charged that he is being smeared and is a victim of political correctness. ROSALIND C. BARNETT AND CARYL RIVERS recode James Damore, 28, questioned the company’s diversity policies and claimed that scientific data backed up ... Read More »

The big lesson from the world’s best school system? Trust your teachers

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Finnish education policies are highly praised, but the real success is the level of responsibility and autonomy given to teachers to do their jobs John Hart The Guardian Finnish education is rarely out of the news, whether it’s outstanding Pisa results, those same results slipping, the dropping of traditional subjects, not dropping subjects, or what makes Finnish teachers special. I worked in England for two years as a teacher before moving to Finland eight years ago. My colleagues in the UK were supportive and the headteacher gave ... Read More »

Ancient DNA reveals origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

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The mysterious Minoans descended primarily from local Stone Age farmers, as did their cultural successors, the Mycenaeans — and their descendants still inhabit Greece today. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN HISTORY EurekAlert! The Minoan Civilization and its counterpart on the Greek Mainland, the Mycenaean Civilization, were Europe’s first literate societies and the cultural ancestors of later Classical Greece. However, the question of the origins of the Minoans and their relationship to the Mycenaeans has long puzzled researchers. ... Read More »

Australians waste $70m a year on unused gift cards

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When I was a teenager, I loved getting gift vouchers and using them in the sales. I usually spent them in either the winter sales soon after my birthday or the summer sales after Christmas. Caitlin Fitzsimmons Brisbane Times I didn’t have much money so each voucher was carefully stored in my wallet and avidly spent. There was no way I’d let a single dollar go to waste. I would’ve been astonished to hear that Australians in 2017 waste $70 ... Read More »

After Trump and Brexit, is this the end for the Anglo-Saxon west?

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You must be from England,” says the shop assistant at the CVS drugstore in Menlo Park, California. Timothy Garton Ash The Guardian When I mention Donald Trump, he says: “Well, don’t get me started on how things are going on your side of the Atlantic. After Trump and… Read More »

A good death

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It would be foolish to think that we can control when our time is up. But neither should we face that moment unprepared. Not only for our sake, but for the people we leave behind. Vivien Shao Business Times THE only certainty in life is death. But this is not something we like to think about – not when we are at our prime, our careers powering ahead, and the future bright. In fact, as you flip through the papers, ... Read More »

Australia human history ‘rewritten by rock find’

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Archaeologists have found the first evidence to suggest that Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years. BBC The discovery indicates their arrival on the continent was up to 18,000 years earlier than previously thought. It was made after sophisticated artefacts were excavated from a rock shelter in the Northern Territory. Researchers unearthed what they say are the… Australia human history… Read More »

How Checkers Was Solved

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The story of a duel between two men, one who dies, and the nature of the quest to build artificial intelligence Alexis C. Madrigal  The Atlantic Marion Tinsley—math professor, minister, and the best checkers player in the world—sat across a game board from a computer, dying. Tinsley had been the world’s best for 40 years, a time during which he’d lost a handful of games to humans, but never a… How Checkers Was… Read More »

Tasoula Hadjitofi – from refugee to icon hunter

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A refugee’s quest to reclaim her nation’s stolen heritage Tasoula Hadjitofi will discuss her experiences of war and injustice; her ongoing campaign to preserve cultural heritage worldwide and her tireless work to combat art trafficking. In 1974 Tasoula Hadjitofi and her family were forced to flee their home in Famagusta, Cyprus during the Turkish invasion. As a refugee living in the Netherlands, Tasoula devoted her life to infiltrating and exposing the shady underworld of art traffickers. It all began when ... Read More »

Kin Aesthetics // Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice

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There is a particularly aggressive strand of social justice activism weaving in and out of my Seattle community that has troubled me, silenced my loved ones, and turned away potential allies. Frances S. Lee  Catalyst I believe in justice. I believe in liberation. I believe it is our duty to obliterate white supremacy, anti-blackness, cisheteropatriarchy, ableism, capitalism, and imperialism. And I also believe there should be openness around the tactics we use and ways our… Excommunicate Me from… Read More »

Churches must be more vocal in speaking about EU successes

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At the heart of the European Union must be a vision beyond ‘prosperity’ for some… Fergus O’Ferrall The Irish Times Jacques Delors, speaking as European Commission president in 1990, made a historic appeal to the churches to contribute to giving Europe “a heart and a… As Europe faces multiple and interrelated crises how are the churches responding to that prophetic call? The perhaps surprising answer is with great wisdom and insight through the Conference of European… Churches must be… Read More »

Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

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The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the… Most research to date focused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non… But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, ... Read More »

New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars

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After years of painstaking research, an online map marking the massacres of Aboriginal clans across Australia’s colonial frontier has… By national Indigenous affairs correspondent Bridget Brennan ABC More than 150 sites have been recorded along the east coast, where violent attacks on Aboriginal people took place for decades after the First Fleet… Historian and conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle Lyndall Ryan believes it will be one of the most comprehensive maps of the Frontier Wars ever… New map ... Read More »

Why Iraq Needs a Cultural Surge

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Iraq needs a new surge—one that is focused on the reconstruction of the country’s cultural heritage. Bartle Bull The National Interest IT IS no secret that the Islamic State brought many tragedies. Potentially the most consequential of these is that in Iraq the rule of the erstwhile caliphate encompassed perhaps the world’s single richest trove of cultural… Now, as ISIS territory disappears yard by yard from the Iraqi map, it is… Why Iraq Needs… Read More »

Together, Closer review: Why we are a mystery to ourselves

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Giovanni Frazzetto creates his own art – eight stories that run alongside the latest discoveries of neuroscience, exploring humanity’s relationship with… Martina Evans The Irish Times Together, closer: The Art and Science of Intimacy in Friendship, Love, and Family is an ambitious project. Giovanni Frazzetto marries science with art, the most recent discoveries of neuroscience with… Stories are part of our make-up and… Together, Closer review… Read More »

Simone Veil: French politician and Holocaust survivor dies

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The French politician, women’s rights champion and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil has died at the age of 89. BBC Best known in France for her instrumental role in legalising abortion in the 1970s, she went on to serve as the first president of an elected European… Ms Veil, a liberal, later re-entered French politics, returning to the cabinet in the 1990s. President Emmanuel Macron described her as “inspiring” and the… Simone Veil: French… Read More »