FROM Sarah Cunningham
Americans' Evolving Attitude toward Animals in Captivity Scientists now believe that all mammals and birds — even the octopus — are conscious beings, capable of thinking, feeling emotion and suffering. That's creating a sea change in attitudes toward the use of wild animals for popular entertainment. Sea World is still reeling from the documentary 'Blackfish' and now faces three lawsuits alleging mistreatment of killer whales. Baylor, the Baptist University, has cancelled its annual visit out of respect for "God's creatures." Meantime, Ringling Brothers is retiring elephants from the circus. But, while there may be a "mood shift" against keeping wild animals in captivity, zoos and aquariums are still more popular than sporting events. Are there better ways to introduce kids to the Animal Kingdom, keep species from going extinct and make discoveries about animal intelligence and emotion?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."