• CLIMATE CHALLENGESExxon Disputed Climate Findings for Years. Its Scientists Knew Better.

    By Alice McCarthy

    Projections created internally by ExxonMobil starting in the late 1970s on the impact of fossil fuels on climate change were very accurate, even surpassing those of some academic and governmental scientists. The oil company executives sought to mislead the public about the industry’s role in climate change, contradicting the findings of the company’s own scientists and drawing a growing number of lawsuits by states and cities.

  • MASS SHOOTINGSU.S. Secret Service Report Examines Five Years of Mass Violence Data

    The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) the other day released a comprehensive report examining 173 incidents of targeted violence and highlighting the observable commonalities among the attackers.

  • DOOMSDAYDoomsday Clock Set at 90 Seconds to Midnight

    The Doomsday Clock was set at 90 seconds to midnight, due largely but not exclusively to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased risk of nuclear escalation. The new Clock time was also influenced by continuing threats posed by the climate crisis and the breakdown of global norms and institutions needed to mitigate risks associated with advancing technologies and biological threats.

  • DOOMSDAYThe Last of Us: Fungal Infections Really Can Kill – and They’re Getting More Dangerous

    By Rebecca A. Drummond

    Millions have been tuning in every week to watch the highly anticipated TV adaptation of “The Last of Us.” The show depicts a post-apocalyptic world where society has collapsed due to the outbreak of a dangerous, brain-controlling fungal infection that turns humans into hostile, cannibalistic “zombies.” Fortunately for us, a fast-spreading fungal pandemic is pretty unlikely – but this doesn’t mean fungi aren’t still a concern.

  • GUNS‘Stand Your Ground’ and Shall-Issue Laws Increase Gun Violence, Study Finds

    By Fairriona Magee

    The RAND Corporation’s latest gun policy report examined 18 popular laws for their effects on violence. The sweeping synthesis of gun policy research has found supportive evidence that “stand your ground” and shall-issue concealed carry laws increase levels of violence, and that child access prevention policies reduce firearm injuries and deaths among children.

  • SURVIVING NUCLEAR ATTACKSHow to Shelter from a Nuclear Explosion

    There is no good place to be when a nuclear bomb goes off. Anything too close is instantly vaporized, and radiation can pose a serious health threat even at a distance. Researchers simulated an atomic bomb explosion from a typical intercontinental ballistic missile and the resulting blast wave to see how it would affect people sheltering indoors.

  • SURVIVING NUCLEAR ATTACKSHow to Survive a Tactical Nuclear Bomb? Defense Experts Explain

    By Robert K. Niven, Chi-King Lee, Damith Mohotti, and Paul Hazell

    What would happen during a tactical nuclear bomb explosion, including the three stages of ignition, blast, and radioactive fallout? How one might be able to survive such an explosion?

  • GUNS & CHILDRENHow Does a Child Become a Shooter? Research Suggests Easy Access to Guns and Exposure to Screen Violence Increase the Risk

    By Brad Bushman and Dan Romer

    In the aftermath of a shocking incident in which a first grader shot and seriously injured a teacher at a school in Newport News, Virginia, the city’s mayor asked the question: “How did this happen?” As experts in media use and its connections to violence, we have reported some disturbing findings about how children are influenced by gun violence depicted in media like television, movies and video games. What makes this more troubling is the fact that millions of children in the U.S. have easy access to firearms in their homes, increasing the risk of gun deaths, including suicides.

  • GUNSU.S. Gun Violence Soars in 2022

    By Chris Simkins

    Across America, gun violence surged in many communities in 2022 as overall death rates from firearms rose to the highest level in nearly three decades. The year saw a near-record number of mass casualty shooting incidents, including several motivated by hate.

  • BLACK SWANSMachine Learning Could Predict Rare Disastrous Events Like Earthquakes or Pandemics

    Researchers suggest how scientists can circumvent the need for massive data sets to forecast extreme events with the combination of an advanced machine learning system and sequential sampling techniques.

  • PUBLIC HEALTHMcDonald's Sets Targets for Reducing Antibiotics in Its Beef Supply

    By Chris Dall

    Following criticism that it was backtracking on a commitment to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in its beef supply chain, fast-food giant McDonald’s has set targets for responsible antibiotic use in the countries that supply most of its beef.

  • WATER SECURITYThe Cold War Legacy Lurking in U.S. Groundwater

    By Mark Olalde, Mollie Simon and Alex Mierjeski

    In America’s rush to build the nuclear arsenal that won the Cold War, safety was sacrificed for speed. ProPublica has cataloged cleanup efforts at the 50-plus sites where uranium was processed to fuel the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Even after regulators say cleanup is complete, polluted water and sickness are often left behind.

  • PLAGUESWhat Plagues of the Past Have to Tell Us About Current Crises

    One expert says that event system theory (EST) helps us understand Albert Camus’s classic 1947 novel The Plague; the Black Death of the 14th century and the lethal waves that followed; and societal response to disruptions like COVID. EST reframes societal disruptions from isolated events to being the result of slowly unfolding chains of connected events.

  • COASTAL CHALLENGESHurricane Ian Shows That Coastal Hospitals Aren’t Ready for Climate Change

    By Daniel Chang and Lauren Sausser

    As rapidly intensifying storms and rising sea levels threaten coastal cities from Texas to the tip of Maine, Hurricane Ian has just demonstrated what researchers have warned: Hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. are not ready for climate change.

  • CLIMATE CHALLENGESExtreme Heat Could Make Parts of Asia, Africa Uninhabitable

    Extreme heat events foreshadow a less habitable world. In the coming decades, heatwaves are predicted to meet and exceed human physiological and social limits in regions such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and South and South-West Asia.