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.
The human cost of going to Mars (FiveThirtyEight)
by Christie Aschwanden
Getting to Mars sometime in the next couple of decades, as both NASA and the Elon Musk venture SpaceX hope to do, is a tricky engineering proposition. It’s also tricky in terms of social engineering. Researchers are trying to figure out how to pick the right people and create the right environment to send a vessel millions of miles farther than we ever have before without causing serious psychological damage.
Taking N-of-one studies seriously (Spectrum)
by Carrie Arnold
If you know just one thing about how scientists study disease treatments, it might be that you need a reasonably large group of subjects to get reliable results. But, in some cases, it’s impossible to do a study with a large sample size and a control group. Now, some scientists are looking at studies with just one subject—like “experiments” that parents of children with autism conduct by trying out new treatments—as possible sources of useful data.
How we’re creating super-raccoons (Slate)
by Libby Copeland
Raccoons don’t just look like tiny burglars. They’re amazingly adept at breaking into human dwellings and taking what they want. Researchers have found that humans are helping urban raccoons get smarter and smarter by devising ways of securing our food and trash that effectively act as brain-stimulating puzzles for the little thieves.
Does power posing work? Should we care? (New York Magazine)
by Cari Romm, Drake Baer, Jesse Singal, and Melissa Dahl
Power poses are one of those TED Talk-promoted notions that quickly seep into the popular imagination. But researchers are questioning whether taking a confident stance before a big meeting actually does any good.
The upside of choosing the lesser of two evils (The Conversation)
by Ardhna Krishna and Tatiana Sokolova
Are you one of the many voters who doesn’t much care for either presidential candidate this year? Good news. A study has found that people who vote against a candidate they dislike—rather than for one they like—tend to choose more deliberatively, and be less influenced by emotional appeals.
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.