Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Reverse Psychology

The UK's Royal Society is trying to encourage school kids' interest in science. But to do that, says New Scientist's Michael Brooks, science is going to have to look a little less "squeaky-clean." Although young children tend to be fascinated by science in school, most of them go on to other things between the ages of 10 and 14, Brooks says. That's generally when they start asserting themselves and rebelling against the rules, a stage of life that has consequences for their interest in science. "Behind the curtain, scientists are surprisingly colorful. The world-changing ones are, by definition, anti-authoritarian, risk-taking rebels," Brooks says, adding that "the problem is, school students only ever hear about the breakthrough itself."

While scientists have been busy making science look as clean-cut and friendly as possible, they've also made it look "dull, inhuman and robotic," Brooks adds. Making the flaws of science apparent to kids might make scientists more, not less, interesting to them, and might bring back some of the fun that's gone missing.

The Scan

Genetic Tests Lead to Potential Prognostic Variants in Dutch Children With Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Researchers in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine found that the presence of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants was linked to increased risk of death and poorer outcomes in children with pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

Fragile X Syndrome Mutations Found With Comprehensive Testing Method

Researchers in Clinical Chemistry found fragile X syndrome expansions and other FMR1 mutations with ties to the intellectual disability condition using a long-range PCR and long-read sequencing approach.

Team Presents Strategy for Speedy Species Detection in Metagenomic Sequence Data

A computational approach presented in PLOS Computational Biology produced fewer false-positive species identifications in simulated and authentic metagenomic sequences.

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.