Updated: The psychological origins of prejudice, discrimination, and racism

Are people “hard-wired” to discriminate based on skin color, ethnicity, religion, place of origin, gender, sexual identity, etc.? Is it hereditary? Do we have no choice? Or, is it learned? As children, are we taught to discriminate by our parents, our greater family, in school, in church, by our friends? If we learn to be racist, can we learn not to be racist? If so,…

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What are Coronaviruses? What does a Coronavirus infection mean for humans? Have we seen them before? Will we keep seeing them in the future? What is the outlook for the current outbreak? Read this; get trustworthy information — Paules, C.I., Marston, H.D., Fauci, A.S. (2020). Coronavirus Infections—More Than Just the Common Cold. JAMA, published online January 23, 2020. Questions?  Please let me know (engelk@grinnell.edu).

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Most-read Science topics (quick post)

Over the last year (since September 2018), the top 5 posts searched and read on Science Connections have been: The impact of sea level rise on Florida–and the world Consumer DNA testing–no oversight, no peer review, only estimates Looking to the past for an alternative to cement Facial recognition and privacy Now that China will no longer take it, the U.S. and other countries will…

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Save money, do good–change your light bulbs (quick post)

Switching light bulbs in your home to LED is a simple, relatively inexpensive way to cut your energy bill (the amount of electricity used with LED bulbs is 80+% less compared to traditional incandescent bulbs). The increasingly wide use of more efficient light bulbs has helped electricity use by Americans to decline since 2010–after rising steeply for decades. The current U.S. Administration may not like…

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The Midwestern U.S. is still flooding (quick post)

News: The lower Mississippi River in the United States is still flooding; some towns have seen continual flooding in 2019 for as long as 100 to 200 days with no end in sight. This is not normal … but, it may be the new normal. Billions of dollars in damage, billions of dollars in lost income to farmers, thousands of lives uprooted and impacted. This…

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There is no privacy any more (quick post)

News: Would you let an employee from Walmart or Amazon come inside your home (while you’re not there) to deliver packages or put groceries in your fridge? Are you concerned about privacy, hacked data, sensitive data being made available to law enforcement, yet more waves of online tailored ads, or other electronic intrusions besides the possibility of just plain bad behavior by people in your…

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