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Our disappearing plants (CNN)
by Jack Guy
A new study finds 40 percent of the world’s plant species are in danger of extinction. That’s bad news for humans too, since many of those plants are, or could be, our allies.

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The joy of studying lizard sex (The New York Times)
by Cara Giaimo
Lots of people have found new hobbies during the pandemic, and apparently one of them is watching lizards mate. That’s good news for scientists, who have used observations by amateur naturalists to learn more about these creatures’ odd form of courtship.

The very American history of voter intimidation (The Conversation)
by Mark Krasovic
For some people, President Trump’s apparent endorsement of armed citizen groups watching the polls suggests potential intimidation of Black and Latinx voters. If that happens, it won’t be the first time.

How irrationality powers science (The New Yorker)
by Joshua Rothman
The objective ideals of science might make us think that an unbiased researcher is the best researcher. But maybe the real power of the scientific method lies in a system where scientists can only vindicate their irrational, emotional beliefs through the grueling work of gathering data.

COVID-19’s poverty spike (Vox)
by Kelsey Piper
For years, extreme poverty has been falling around the world. COVID-19 has dramatically reversed the trend—and it calls into question the stability of improvements in human well-being.

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