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From the BrainSTEM

(Daria Kiseleva / The McGill Tribune)
From the BrainSTEM

Bias means that fact-checking Trump may not be effective

In July 2016, Newt Gingrich offered a prime example of cognitive dissonance in a CNN interview. Gingrich argued that statistics showing declining crime rates were wrong because people didn’t say that they felt safer. His argument demonstrated the strong role that feelings play in the way people determine which data and arguments they choose to believe.… Keep Reading

From the BrainSTEM

The case for open source software

“Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech,’ not as in ‘free beer,’” leading software freedom activist Richard M. Stallman explained via the Free Software Foundation. Open source software is computer software published under a copyright license where the copyright holder… Keep Reading

The statistical prevalence of false statements has increased in American elections. (Amanda Fiore / The McGill Tribune)
From the BrainSTEM

The disappearance of truth from American politics

American politicians are rarely known for their honesty, and their performances in presidential debates tend to be no exception. From Gerald Ford’s claim in 1976 that “there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe” to Mitt Romney’s assertion in 2012 that the Obama administration took 14 days before acknowledging the Benghazi attack as an act… Keep Reading

Cutting down the disease-carrying mosquito population could decrease the risk of malaria. (
From the BrainSTEM

The case for eradicating malaria with gene-editing technologies

What if we could rid the world of any species that we didn’t like: The annoying ones, the dangerous ones, and the disease-spreading ones? This seems like a tall order and one that carries a number of ethical quandaries. With the advent of CRISPR/Cas9 gene technologies, the once theoretical bioethics is now a real consideration… Keep Reading

The parents of some disabled children are choosing to stunt their growth. (
From the BrainSTEM

Growth attenuation therapy mimics an ugly past

A recent article published in the New York Times discussed a boy named Ricky, who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and static encephalopathy. His permanent brain damage meant he was unable to walk and had very limited eyesight. Ricky is now nine years old, but his body is the size of a four-year-old’s; his… Keep Reading

The annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference celebrates female programmers. (
From the BrainSTEM

From the BrainSTEM: The leaky pipe

Today, women make up less than 20 per cent of software engineers in the workforce (the precise numbers range depends on who is collecting the statistics and how the observer defines ‘software engineer’). Even in universities, where women outnumber men almost 3:2, only 12 per cent of computer science degrees are awarded to women. It’s… Keep Reading

The current nominees will need to address issues raised by the scientific community.  (May Lim / McGill Tribune)
From the BrainSTEM

From the BrainSTEM: Discovering scientific serendipity in the upcoming general election

The last several years under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s term have been intolerable for the scientific community. Described by the media as the “War on science,” Harper has muzzled government scientists in an effort to control how and what information is disseminated to the public. These policies are a form of censorship. They have pushed… Keep Reading

montreal biodome
From the BrainSTEM

From the BrainSTEM: Montreal Museums Day

As a student, being able to immerse myself in Montreal’s rich network of museums—without having to pay anything—is an exciting proposition. On May 24, when the Board of Montreal Museum Directors hosted the 29th edition of La Journée Des Musées, Montréalais: Montreal Museums Day, I had to participate. The Biodôme, one of the participating museums,… Keep Reading

(Photo courtesy of
From the BrainSTEM

From the BrainSTEM: The failing U.S. education system

When it comes to training future generations, scientific research has proven that the U.S. education system fails. In 2012, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) coordinated the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standard that was developed for measuring the performance of 15-year-old students in math, science, and reading literacy. They found… Keep Reading

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