Jeffrey Epstein’s influence in the science world is a symptom of larger problems | Kate Darling

In a system stacked against women, we must direct our harshest judgment at people and institutions who remain silent Many of us are reeling from the recent news that MITs Media Lab, where I work as a researcher, took funding from Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier who faced federal sex-trafficking charges. For me, the Epstein connections dont stop there: Epstein had close ties to John Brockman, the founder of the heavy-hitting science literary agency that recently sold my first book. The Epstein web can appear inescapable, and for those entangled in it, theres a temptation to break out and cut all ties with his enablers. While I understand and respect that decision, Ive made a different one. I will not …

Climate crisis: aviation industry hears clamour for electric planes

Shift from fossil fuels top of agenda for Paris air show, industry having lagged behind other sectors Faced with growing calls for action on the climate crisis, aerospace companies gathering for the Paris air show next week are turning their thoughts to a future run on electricity rather than fossil fuels. The scale of the challenge is considerable. The target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and emissions laggard compared with the car industry or power generation, but improvements in the German startup Lilium and US firm Bell Helicopter small hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market in the early 2020s, and Aurora Flight Sciences, which is also targeting air taxis. Yet for …

‘It’s ghost slavery’: the troubling world of pop holograms

Dead stars from Whitney Houston to Maria Callas are going on tour again. As Miley Cyrus explores the issue in a new Black Mirror, we uncover the greatest identity crisis in music today In the star-making Disney Channel switcheroo Hannah Montana,Miley Cyrus played a teenage girl who is able to metamorphose from regular eighth grader to pop icon, simply by donning a streaked blonde wig. Most of the show seems quaintly dated now, but one moment taps into a very 2019 pop anxiety. On foam-finger humper to The episodes trailer ends with Ashley Too acquiring potty-mouthed sentience, screaming for her owner to get this [USB] cable out of my ass! Holy Shit! Specifics are under wraps, but the episode seems …

Five tricks of the senses

Why using a white spoon can be preferable to a black one when eating yoghurt Tongues can smell Researchers in Philadelphia revealed last week that have an effect on how we determine flavour, suggesting that the brain makes judgments on food even before it goes in our mouths. Yoghurt, for example, tastes sweeter on a white spoon than it does on a black spoon. Music on the menu Various experiments show a crossover in human perception between smell and sound. University of Oxford researchers found consistencies when participants were asked to pair certain smells to musical instruments and pitches: a piano smelled fruity, while brass had a musky odour. This phenomenon is thought to be caused by an area of …