Culture & Society
Students in Matthew Liebmann’s “Encountering the Conquistadors” class recently got a feel for prehistoric life, trying their hands at an ancient weapon called the atlatl.
As part of an unusual study that surveyed 181 middle school physical science teachers and nearly 10,000 students, researchers found that the most successful teachers were those who knew what students would get wrong on standardized tests.
Latanya Sweeney, Harvard professor of government and technology in residence, wants to add a new factor to the weighting Google uses when delivering online ads, one that measures bias. In a new paper, she describes how such a calculation could be built into the ad-delivery algorithm Google uses.
People would like to predict the future, says author and mathematician David Orrell, but it remains quite a difficult thing to do, even with lots of data at hand.
Culture & Society Articles
Teams of students from “Engineering Sciences 20: How to Create Things and Have Them Matter” in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are working to create unusual products that are designed to change the world.
A gerontologist researcher says his work allows him to connect with “vibrant, engaged, healthy, exciting, and active older people.” He says they live more in the now than other people might believe, and value that.
In “Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan,” Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, explores a range of fascinating subjects, including how emotions influence decisions and the often-thorny matter of understanding the perspectives of others. Blending social science and real-world examples, Gino’s book also highlights the science of gratitude.
The Temple of Amun-Ra at Karnak isn’t the most famous ancient site in Egypt — that honor goes to the Pyramids at Giza — but newly developed reconstructions using 3-D virtual reality modeling make clear its architectural importance and rich history.
Scholars convened at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to explore the topic of bullying and potential ways forward.
Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji and longtime collaborator Anthony Greenwald condense three decades of work on the unconscious mind in “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People.”
There may be a formula for happiness after all, says Daniel Gilbert, Harvard professor of psychology and best-selling author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” who presented an impressive array of scientific research from the disciplines of economics, psychology, and neuroscience to assess his mother’s recipe for happiness.
Harvard President Drew Faust called for the scientific community to unite in its efforts to press Congress for continued federal research support during a speech to the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
As research funding dwindles, scientists need to rethink their methods for supporting the most promising projects, and how they communicate their work to the public, Nobel Prize–winning geneticist Paul Nurse told an audience of Harvard scientists.
Using computer simulations designed to play a simple economic “game,” researchers at Harvard’s Program for Evolutionary Dynamics showed that uncertainty is a key ingredient behind fairness. Their work is described in a Jan. 21 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A new study finds differences in the ways that participation in Alcoholics Anonymous helps men and women maintain sobriety.
Jason Ur, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, earlier this year launched a five-year archaeological project — the first such Harvard-led endeavor in the war-torn nation since the early 1930s — to scour a 3,200-square-kilometer region around Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, for the signs of ancient cities and towns, canals, and roads.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Ph.D. student in economics, uses Google Insights for Search, an online tool for extracting data from the millions of daily Google searches, and then uses statistical tools to analyze the data to gain insights on who is likely to vote and on voter turnout on Election Day.
A new Harvard study says that pica — and particularly geophagy, or the eating of soil or clay — is far more prevalent in Madagascar, one of the few areas of the world where it had gone unreported, than researchers previously thought. The research also suggests that the behavior may be more prevalent worldwide, particularly among men, than earlier believed.
A new three-year, three-city course at the Harvard Graduate School of Design gives students an immersive learning experience in some of China’s fast-growing frontier cities.
Measurements of stress hormones and self-reports of anxiety show that leaders in stable organizations experience less stress than their subordinates, likely because they have greater control over their office lives.
A new Harvard study suggests that children as young as 3 consider merit — a key part of more-advanced ideas of fairness — when distributing resources.
It happens to all of us: We think we learned of the Sept. 11 attacks from a radio report, when, in fact, the news came from a co-worker; we’re sure the robber running from the bank was tall, when actually he was short; we remember waking up at 7 yesterday, when 8 is closer to the truth. Such “false memories,” unavoidable in everyday life, can have disastrous consequences in courtrooms and other settings where exactitude matters.
A Harvard Summer School class spurs learning through food, by examining how microbes — bacteria and fungi — can help as well as harm when they get into food, doing much of the work preparing cheeses, beer, soy sauce, and even chocolate.
Research led by scientists at Harvard and University College London has shown that Native Americans arrived in three waves of migration, not one, as is commonly held and that at least one group returned home to Asia.