Category Archives: School and Education

“They are indistinguishable”

NPR: Math Looks The Same In The Brains Of Boys And Girls, Study Finds.

“There’s new evidence that girls start out with the same math abilities as boys.

A study of 104 children from ages 3 to 10 found similar patterns of brain activity in boys and girls as they engaged in basic math tasks, researchers reported Friday in the journal Science of Learning.

“They are indistinguishable,” says Jessica Cantlon, an author of the study and professor of developmental neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University.

The finding challenges the idea that more boys than girls end up in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) because they are inherently better at the sort of thinking those fields require. It also backs other studies that found similar math abilities in males and females early in life.”

NPR: New Study Challenges The Assumption That Math Is Harder For Girls. “Research shows that when boys and girls as old as 10 do math, their patterns of brain activity are indistinguishable. The finding is the latest challenge to the idea that math is harder for girls.”

“Geary says differences seem to show up later and involve very high-level math tasks. His own research has found that in most countries, female students perform just as well as male students in science-related subjects. Yet paradoxically, Geary says, females are less likely to get degrees in fields like math and computer science if they live in wealthier countries with greater gender equality.”

“Wash your hands, you filthy animals!”

I’ve recently discovered This Podcast Will Kill You by hosts Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updike, who are both disease ecologists and epidemiologists, so they know what they’re talking about. I’ve found the episodes I’ve listened to so far not only very informative, but entertaining as well!

Two of my favorite episodes so far (published in May 2019):

Episode 26 Vaccines Part 1: Let’s hear it for Maurice

Episode 27 Vaccines part 2: Have you thanked your immune system lately?

Link via MetaFilter.

I have just one piece of advice: Don’t!

NASA Goddard: NASA’s Guide To Black Hole Safety. (YouTube, 2:39min) “Have you ever thought about visiting a black hole? We sure hope not. However, if you’re absolutely convinced that a black hole is your ideal vacation spot, watch this video before you blast off to learn more about them and (more importantly) how to stay safe.”

Link via Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Every damn myth debunked in one.

Vice: The Most Overhyped Wellness Promises, Debunked. “Here’s some healthy skepticism about Keto, colonics, charcoal, and more.”

“Behold our ever-growing list of today’s most pervasive wellness lies (or are they misunderstandings? Misguided hopes and dreams?). Click through on each one for a clear, deeply researched, as-definitive-as-possible explanation, gathered from experts and years of scientific research. You won’t find any thin claims based on small studies or experiments on cells or mice, unless we’re using them to point out how insufficient the research is on a given subject.”

The list includes 44 myths and links to extensive articles about each one.

Link via MetaFilter.