Ben Shepard
Ben Shepard

World News

Find out what’s happening in Science & Society around the world. Discover changes to science policy and law, new scientific study results, Supreme Court rulings, debates about nature versus nurture, and news about the sharing of genetic information.

Mon, Apr 23

FDA investigating unauthorized herpes vaccine research, report says

Dr. Nita Farahany, Professor of Law & Philosophy and Director of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, discusses the legal and ethical issues of unauthorized research.

Wed, Apr 11

Fragmented U.S. Privacy Rules Leave Large Data Loopholes for Facebook and Others

U.S. companies follow more comprehensive privacy laws in other countries but have little incentive to protect U.S. consumers the same way.

Mon, Apr 02

A Flawed Study Shows How Little We Understand Crispr’s Effects

Last May, a small case study suggested the much-hyped CRISPR technology might actually be quite dangerous. Scientists and journalists soon pointed out flaws in the paper that misconstrued cause and effect. After nearly a year of continued criticisms, and failures to reproduce the results, the authors conceded that the skeptics might be right. Last week, the journal that published the paper, Nature Methods, finally retracted it.

Thu, Mar 29

Nature peers into the evidence for ‘psychographic targeting’

The practices of Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm involved in US President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, have made headlines around the world this month. It’s alleged that the firm received data from millions of Facebook users, gathered without their explicit consent. Media reports suggest that this data hoard was later used to target voters with messages personalized to their personality traits — a strategy known as psychographic marketing — although the firm has denied that it used the Facebook data in its work.

But could these tactics actually have swayed voters? Here, Nature takes a look at the science behind psychographic targeting.

Wed, Mar 21

Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Pedestrian in Arizona, Where Robots Roam

An autonomous car operated by Uber — and with an emergency backup driver behind the wheel — struck and killed a woman on a street in Tempe, Ariz. It was believed to be the first pedestrian death associated with self-driving technology.

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