The mental health paradox

It’s a long-standing mystery in public health: despite the inarguably vast number of psychological and sociological stresses they face in the U.S., African Americans are mentally healthier than white people. The phenomenon is formally described as the “race paradox in mental health”. The paradox became apparent in the mid-1990s. Since then, an overwhelming majority of […]

The Last Word

October 28 – November 1 This week, Erik told us to eat the most delicious little bastards in the ocean. Why is the moose population dwindling? Roberta investigated. I wonder if we can ever agree on a single truth without paying the price. Ann showed why looking at the universe only in the optical wavelengths […]

I, entomophage

I spent the summer cultivating an increasing desperation to eat an insect. The first hankerings developed as I spent a couple of months researching and editing a feature on entomophagy for New Scientist — after sifting through enough butter roasted locust risottos and lemon pepper cricket broths, the idea went full spectrum from hilariously gross […]

Watching your back

Half a lifetime bent over peering into people’s mouths had left Martha Podleschak with spine problems. One of the job requirements for a dentist is a constant, slightly sideways forward tilt. According to her x-ray technician, Podleschak’s particular leftward lean had compressed the discs between her vertebrae, causing a pattern of extreme wear on the […]

The Last Word on The Science Writers’ Handbook

LWON is a group blog run semi-anarchically by 12 science writers. If you think that sounds like a recipe for chaos, just contemplate SciLance, an even more anarchic group of 35 science writers. Usually, SciLance is just a discussion group, so the chaos is relatively subdued. But last week, the writers of SciLance published their […]

Debunking Hollywood: Headshot

Last month, Erik took a hard look at a staple in Hollywood’s menu of plot devices: the knockout shot. Now we turn to a movie trope that hits a little closer to home. Our very own Sally needs your help in the investigation: Dear LWON readers, I’m a boxer with a problem: I can’t punch […]

The Last Word

April 1 – 5 On April Fools day, Jennie Dushek teased the internet with the obituary of a great dad. I wondered whether science has anything interesting to say about stupidity. Cassie examined the evidence from the anti-vax side of the aisle and found it wanting. Guest poster Michael Balter told us about the dinosaurs […]

I’m with stupid

What is stupidity? That’s the question I set out to answer this week for New Scientist. The idea was to look at the science of stupidity, but it took me a good couple of weeks to stop hitting brick walls in my research. Respectable scientists don’t like to talk about stupidity. “Stupidity is an evaluative […]