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Attracting the Best and Brightest to Science

The common wisdom says that the United States needs more students studying science, but, as ScienceInsider notes, a study led by a Georgetown University demographer and a Rutgers University sociologist argues the opposite. Growing the number of students, and then workers, in the sciences and engineering will only prove to reduce wages, they say. The researchers surveyed students as they graduated high school and college and then three and 10 years after college. They found that the percentage of STEM graduates working in their field three years after graduation increased between 1972 and 2000 and also increased for 10 years out, but those numbers are different for the highest-performing students. Those students instead left the STEM fields and the researchers say this fits with anecdotal evidences that people with science backgrounds moved to finance and management. Thus, to make the US competitive in the field is to "put more emphasis on the demand side," Lowell says.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.