Young scientist s named TIME’s first-ever Kid of the Year for technology that leads social change

TIME Magazine has announced its first-ever Kid of the Year – 15-year-old scientist and inventor Gitanjali Rao. 

Roa’s love for science began at the age of 10 when she discovered carbon nanotube sensor technology, which uses molecules to detect chemicals in water, and her passion grew from there.

Prior to being named Kid of the Year, Roa was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for developing a mobile device in 2017 to test for lead in drinking water – an innovation she made to address the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

Her most recent project is an app called Kindly that uses artificial intelligence to detect cyberbullying online at an early stage.

Roa was selected from a group of more than 5,000 nominees, but judges were astonished by her use of technology to combat a number of social issues ranging from contaminated water to opioid addiction and cyberbullying.

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Global data challenge winners investigating county-level COVID-19 impact of in-person college classes; social determinants of health

( NewMediaWire ) – December 03, 2020 – DALLAS – Researchers from University of Michigan and University of Alabama studying the impact of in-person college classes on community COVID-19 cases and the affect social determinants of health play in virus outbreaks and deaths won the top awards in the American Heart Association’s first ever COVID-19 data challenge. The challenge focused on understanding the relationships between COVID-19 and other risk factors, health conditions, health disparities and social determinants of health that may bring a higher burden of illness or mortality.

After rigorous peer review by a panel of 26 U.S.-based data science and public health experts, these teams have been selected as winners:

  • Grand Prize ($15,000): Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., and Ji Zhu, Ph.D., University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, led the project “Population-based Features and Their Association with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection in the United States.” The team analyzed national data
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The Social Life of Forests



The Social Life of Forests

Trees appear to communicate and cooperate through subterranean networks of fungi. What are they sharing with one another?

By Ferris Jabr
Photographs by Brendan George Ko

As a child, Suzanne Simard often roamed Canada’s old-growth forests with her siblings, building forts from fallen branches, foraging mushrooms and huckleberries and occasionally eating handfuls of dirt (she liked the taste). Her grandfather and uncles, meanwhile, worked nearby as horse loggers, using low-impact methods to selectively harvest cedar, Douglas fir and white pine. They took so few trees that Simard never noticed much of a difference. The forest seemed ageless and infinite, pillared with conifers, jeweled with raindrops and brimming with ferns and fairy bells. She experienced it as “nature in the raw” — a mythic realm, perfect as it was. When she began attending the University of British Columbia, she was elated to discover forestry: an entire

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William Evanina, counterintel chief, praises ‘unprecedented’ partnership of feds, social media firms

William R. Evanina, director of U.S. counterintelligence, said Wednesday that the federal government’s coordinated work with social media companies ahead of the 2020 election will provide a playbook for fighting foreign influence in the future.

“What we accomplished the past two years, but specifically in the last six-to-nine months as an integrated, holistic government effort in partnership with social media and tech firms is unprecedented,” Mr. Evanina said at an Aspen Institute event, “and I think it’s really going to be the model of the future moving forward, how we protect, not only just elections but how we mitigate malign foreign influence and how we drive continued protection of democracy.”

In the run-up to the 2020 election, federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies met with Big Tech executives to fight foreign influence operations on their platforms aimed at the election. Among the companies that met with federal officials were Facebook,

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afloat, the App Delivering the Boost that Current Social Media Platforms Can’t

  • By joining public or private groups, members can interact daily to give and receive on-demand help, advice, gifts, and support.
  • At the touch of a button, users can request something as simple as a cup of coffee, a ride for a child, or gift something as large as a wedding gift or holiday gift for a teacher.
  • Users can rally groups to help with, support, celebrate significant life events, or check it daily to see who needs something from the grocery store or want to participate in a clothing drive.
  • Businesses can easily connect to their customers to support and celebrate like never before

“Everyone reaches a point where they need help—everyone. We can’t do life alone,” said CEO & Founder Sarah-Allen Preston. “As humans, we are wired to help others. This App connects that circle —in the palm of your hand—geared toward creating happiness and positivity for everyone

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Americans have ‘social responsibility’ to get vaccine, Trump advisor says

  • Operation Warp Speed chief advisor Moncef Slaoui said in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday that Americans have a “social responsibility” to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
  • “There is a social responsibility here for everybody to really think hard before deciding not to take the vaccine,” Slaoui said. 
  • Many Americans appear skeptical of a COVID-19 vaccine: One-third said they would not agree to taking a vaccine if it was available, according to a September survey.
  • Pfizer and Moderna have each filed with the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorized use of their vaccines.
  • Pfizer said its vaccine was 95% effective at preventing COVID-19 in late-stage trials, while Moderna said its was 94.1% effective.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Moncef Slaoui, the chief science advisor to President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, said Americans have a “social responsibility” in taking the vaccine. Vaccines for existing diseases

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Scientists warn of the social and environmental risks tied to the energy transition

wind energy
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

To meet the most ambitious 1.5º C climate goal requires a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and mass use of renewables. However, new international research by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) warns that green energy projects can be as socially and environmentally conflictive as fossil fuel projects. While renewable energies are often portrayed as being environmentally sustainable, this new study cautions about the risks associated with the green energy transition, arguing for an integrated approach that redesigns energy systems in favor of social equity and environmental sustainability. The research, which analyzes protests over 649 energy projects, has been recently published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.


The study, authored by an international group of researchers with a large presence of the ICTA-UAB and led by Dr. Leah Temper, from McGill University, draws on data from the

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For the sake of democracy, social media giants must pay newspapers

The news that France’s court of appeal has ruled in favour of the French Competition Authority’s order that Google must negotiate payments with publishers for linking to their content has provoked predictable howls of outrage from the tech industry and their more sympathetic commentators. “This,” observes Benedict Evans, the analyst recently returned from a big Silicon Valley venture capital firm, in his invaluable weekly newsletter, “is a fascinating logical fallacy – it makes perfect sense as long as you never ask why no one other than Google pays to link either and never ask why it should only be newspapers that get paid to be linked to.”



a close up of a newspaper: Photograph: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

The only place where the news of the French decision seems to have been greeted with enthusiasm is Australia, whose Competition and Consumer Commission (ACC) is putting the finishing touches to a mandatory news

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Social Media Section 230 Law: No One is Happy

What is Section 230?

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act gave social media giants like Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google, and YouTube broad immunity for the content they publish from users on their sites.

The law dates back to 1996 when no one could foresee the power of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

No One is Happy

The Wall Street Journal reports Social Media’s Liability Shield Is Under Assault

Democrats say the immunity has allowed companies to ignore false and dangerous information spreading online, since the companies generally aren’t liable for harmful content.

Republicans focus their ire on another aspect of Section 230, which says companies broadly aren’t liable for taking down content they deem objectionable. President Trump and others contend liberal-leaning tech companies have used that provision to block conservative views.

It may make sense for there to be liability for some of the

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