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submitted 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago) by perestroika to c/science

I noticed that we have a community for talking about applied science and engineering in the form of c/technology, about climate science in the form of c/climate, but there didn't seem to be a field-neutral place to discuss any sort of science.

To fill the absence and introduce a few articles which caught my interest, I created it. I think I should make this thread stick to the top of the community, so meta-discussion could be easily located here.

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submitted 19 hours ago* (last edited 19 hours ago) by perestroika to c/science

In the article, researchers modeled the passage of the solar system through the galactic interstellar medium, components of which move at differing velocities and orbits.

They found that approximately 2-3 megayears ago, the solar system most likely entered a cloud of mainly cold hydrogen, and the density of the cloud was such that it should have considerably compressed the heliosphere (Sun's bubble of radiation and fields). Earth would have been outside the heliosphere either permanently or periodically. Currently the heliosphere ends far beyond the most distant planet, at approximately 130 Earth-Sun distances (astronomical units).

This would have greatly subdued the influence of solar wind on Earth, at the same time exposing the planet to interstellar cosmic rays. It is further speculated that studies which analyze Earth climate during the aforementioned period may benefit from accounting for this possibility.

Researchers sought confirmation for their model from geological records and found some, in the isotope content of iron and plutonium in sediments: iron 60 and plutonium 244 aren't produced by processes on Earth, so an influx would mean that solar wind no longer sufficed to beat back interstellar gas and dust (the latter containing radioisotopes from supernova explosions).

"By studying geological radioisotopes on Earth, we can learn about the past of the heliosphere. 60Fe is predominantly produced in supernova explosions and becomes trapped in interstellar dust grains. 60Fe has a half-life of 2.6 Myr, and 244Pu has a half-life of 80.7 Myr. 60Fe is not naturally produced on Earth, and so its presence is an indicator of supernova explosions within the last few (~10) million years. 244Pu is produced through the r-process that is thought to occur in neutron star mergers22. Evidence for the deposition of extraterrestrial 60Fe onto Earth has been found in deep-sea sediments and ferromanganese crusts between 1.7 and 3.2 Ma (refs. 23,24,25,26,27), in Antarctic snow [28] and in lunar samples [29]. The abundances were derived from new high-precision accelerator mass spectrometry measurements. The 244Pu/60Fe influx ratios are similar at ~2 Ma, and there is evidence of a second peak at ~7 Ma (refs. 23,24)."

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submitted 1 week ago by Five to c/science
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"It was outlined above that it is acknowledged that the current economic system is understood to be unsustainable, which is why the shift toward the Green Economy is proposed. However, such a shift means not a shift toward sustainability, but rather the continuation of the current system. As explained, the Green Economy is in line with weak sustainability and thus calls for decoupling. Anyway, decoupling has been one of the driving forces at the origin of the current unsustainable economic system. As was briefly indicated, this decoupling had major drawbacks, and has been partially creating the sustainability problems we are facing now. This idea of the Green Economy follows, therefore, exactly the same evolutionary pathway as our current economy. Hence, it is not as Pearce argued that we did not try this path; we tried it already and it failed. It would be illogic to employ the same mechanisms as solution that created the problem."

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submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by Five to c/science

Abstract

Intelligence is correlated with a range of left-wing and liberal political beliefs. This may suggest intelligence directly alters our political views. Alternatively, the association may be confounded or mediated by socioeconomic and environmental factors. We studied the effect of intelligence within a sample of over 300 biological and adoptive families, using both measured IQ and polygenic scores for cognitive performance and educational attainment. We found both IQ and polygenic scores significantly predicted all six of our political scales. Polygenic scores predicted social liberalism and lower authoritarianism, within-families. Intelligence was able to significantly predict social liberalism and lower authoritarianism, within families, even after controlling for socioeconomic variables. Our findings may provide the strongest causal inference to date of intelligence directly affecting political beliefs.

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submitted 3 months ago by poVoq to c/science
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Return-to-Office Mandates (papers.ssrn.com)
submitted 3 months ago by toaster to c/science

Abstract

Using a sample of Standard and Poor’s 500 firms, we examine determinants and consequences of U.S. firms’ return-to-office (RTO) mandates. Results of our determinant analyses are consistent with managers using RTO mandates to reassert control over employees and blame employees as a scapegoat for bad firm performance. Also, our findings do not support the argument that managers impose mandate because they believe RTO increases firm values. Further, our difference in differences tests report significant declines in employees’ job satisfactions mandates but no significant changes in financial performance or firm values after RTO mandates. In summary, our research contributes to the ongoing debate over RTO versus working from home and has important implications for practitioners.

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submitted 3 months ago by toaster to c/science

Abstract

Despite the widespread harm caused by cars and automobility, governments, corporations, and individuals continue to facilitate it by expanding roads, manufacturing larger vehicles, and subsidising parking, electric cars, and resource extraction. This literature review synthesises the negative consequences of automobility, or car harm, which we have grouped into four categories: violence, ill health, social injustice, and environmental damage. We find that, since their invention, cars and automobility have killed 60–80 million people and injured at least 2 billion. Currently, 1 in 34 deaths are caused by automobility. Cars have exacerbated social inequities and damaged ecosystems in every global region, including in remote car-free places. While some people benefit from automobility, nearly everyone—whether or not they drive—is harmed by it. Slowing automobility's violence and pollution will be impracticable without the replacement of policies that encourage car harm with policies that reduce it. To that end, the paper briefly summarises interventions that are ready for implementation.

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The Year of Ozempic (www.newyorker.com)
submitted 6 months ago by Five to c/science
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submitted 6 months ago* (last edited 6 months ago) by perestroika to c/science

Some Chinese researchers have found a new catalyst for electrochemically reducing CO2. Multiple such catalysts are known, but so far, only copper favours reaction products with a carbon chain of at least 2 carbons (e.g. ethanol).

The new catalyst requires a specific arrangement of tin atoms on tin disulphate substrate, seems to work in a solution of potassium hydrogen carbonate (read: low temperature) and is 80% specific to producing ethanol - a very practical chemical feedstock and fuel.

The new catalyst seems stable enough (97% activity after 100 hours). Reaction rates that I can interpret into "good" or "bad" aren't found - it could be slow to work. The original is paywalled, a more detailed article can be found at:

Carbon-Carbon Coupling on a Metal Non-metal Catalytic Pair

Overall, it's nice to see some research into breaking down CO2 for energy storage, but there is nothing practical (industrial) on that front yet, only lab work.

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submitted 7 months ago by Five to c/science
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submitted 7 months ago by ProdigalFrog to c/science
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submitted 7 months ago by Five to c/science
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Science

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Community for discussion about experiments or discoveries made with scientific methods.

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