The Controversial China Initiative Is Ending, and Researchers Are Relieved

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced yesterday that it will effectively terminate the controversial China Initiative, a programme that sought to protect US laboratories and businesses from espionage. Instead, the programme will be broadened to cover other countries of concern and renamed. Scientists who spoke to Nature are relieved to see the initiative end—the programme frequently … Read more

The Culture of Engineering Overlooks the People It’s Supposed to Serve

“Is data objective or subjective?” In my last year at Rice University, I enrolled in a data science ethics course. It was my first engineering course focused on the societal impacts of emerging technologies. Until this point, my work in social justice was largely separate from my technical work as a student of materials science … Read more

Shoddy Harassment Investigations Are a Stain to Academia

“This is a case about Harvard’s decade-long failure to protect students from sexual abuse and career-ending retaliation.” That is the first sentence of a federal lawsuit filed on February 8 by three graduate students against Harvard University, accusing the university’s officials of enabling abusive behavior by John Comaroff, a professor in the anthropology department. The … Read more

Facial Recognition Plan from IRS Raises Big Concerns

The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation, an online publication covering the latest research. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is planning to require citizens to create accounts with a private facial recognition company in order to file taxes online. The IRS is joining a growing number of federal and state agencies that have contracted … Read more

How Racism in Early Life Can Affect Long-Term Health

The scientific evidence is crystal clear: Early experiences literally shape the architecture of the developing brain. This widespread understanding is driving increased public support for universal pre-K to enhance school readiness for all children and level the playing field for kids who face adversity. But here’s something that’s less well-known by the public: Since the brain is … Read more