Well-researched stories from around the web that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. Brought to you each Tuesday from the editors of JSTOR Daily.
Living like cavemen (The Atlantic)
by Richard Schiffman
Are we really smarter than our hunter-gatherer ancestors? A professor leads his students in trying out “caveman” lifestyles to see how early humans went about solving the complex problems of daily life.
The Supreme Court and abortion, beyond Roe v. Wade (The Conversation)
by B. Jessie Hill
As confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch begin, many people wonder what will become of Roe v. Wade. But a law professor notes that the Supreme Court will have other very significant opportunities to limit access to abortion without overturning the iconic 1973 decision.
How Chuck Berry birthed rock ‘n’ roll (Maclean’s)
by John Covach
When Chuck Berry died this week, almost everyone agreed that we’d lost the person most responsible for creating rock ‘n’ roll. A music historian explains that Berry’s invention of an art form wasn’t just about translating R&B forms for white teenagers, but also creating a kind of pop album where the singer and the individual recordings were as important as the songs.
The power of Social Security (Pacific Standard)
by Tom Jacobs
What would it matter if we raised the retirement age for Social Security or otherwise weakened the program? A new paper suggests a stark answer: When Americans reach age 62, the youngest it’s usually possible to collect Social Security benefits, they suddenly become significantly less likely to kill themselves.
The trouble with chickens (Vox)
By Christopher Blattman
Bill Gates has advocated handing out chickens across the developing world to provide a profitable business opportunity for the poor. But studies on the effects of livestock giveaways show mixed results, and the logistics of giving chickens to villagers can be complicated and expensive. An international development researcher argues that what prospective entrepreneurs need more than chickens is cash—and that deep pocketed donors like Gates should put more money into figuring out what solutions really work in practice.
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.