Extra Credit: Our pick of stories from around the web that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. Brought to you each Tuesday from the editors of JSTOR Daily.
That bee knows something you don’t (Wired)
By Brendan Cole
We all know about hawks’ eyes and bloodhounds’ noses. But did you know bumblebees have electromagnetic sensors in their legs? Or that vampire bats can detect slightly warmer spots on their prey’s skin that indicates the location of a vein? Biologists have found all kinds of amazing animal superpowers.
How war scars the brain (The New York Times Magazine)
by Robert F. Worth
Back before we talked about a purely psychological disorder called PTSD, there was “shell shock,” the World War I-era diagnosis of damage to the brain causing erratic behavior. Now, new research suggests the physical effects of bomb blasts may really be part of what causes mental health problems among veterans.
Fighting bad science with good science (The New Yorker)
By Atul Gawande
Sociologists have found a startling growth in the distrust of scientific authority in the US. But research also shows how scientific thinking may be able to reverse that trend.
How unelected officials help democracy (Washington Post)
by Kate Baldwin
In parts of rural Africa, unelected local leaders have a lot of power. But a political science professor finds that, paradoxically, they can improve the way national democratic governments function.
Deafness as disability, or as community (Pacific Standard)
by Malcolm Harris
Are cochlear implants are a miracle technology that lets deaf children hear? Or are they a way to destroying a distinct deaf culture by treating people with differences as broken machines? Sociologists and ethicists find the issue is a complicated one, touching on divides in class, race, and ethnicity between medical professionals and many patients.
Have you seen a story online that does a good job of bridging the gap between the news and scholarship? Or something that seems particularly well-researched? Let us know and we may include it in next week’s roundup. Email us at jstordaily_submissions (at) jstor (dot) org.