New Scientist

New Scientist 5-Sep-20

New Scientist covers the latest developments in science and technology that will impact your world. New Scientist employs and commissions the best writers in their fields from all over the world. Our editorial team provide cutting-edge news, award-winning features and reports, written in concise and clear language that puts discoveries and advances in the context of everyday life today and in the future.

United Kingdom
New Scientist Ltd
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51 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
elsewhere on new scientist

Virtual events How to… with Randall Munroe The mind behind the webcomic xkcd reveals the world’s most useless self-help guide with astrophysicist Katie Mack. Thursday 10 September at 6pm BST/1pm EDT. newscientist.com/events Podcasts Weekly Rethinking habitable planets; the nature of unconscious bias; what a tumour’s microbiome reveals about cancer. Plus: catfish superpowers and the sun’s lost sibling. newscientist.com/podcasts Newsletter Health Check Our free newsletter brings you a weekly round-up of all the health and fitness news you need to know. newscientist.com/sign-up/health Online Covid-19 daily update The day’s coronavirus coverage updated at 6pm BST. newscientist.com/coronavirus-latest Science with Sam This week’s video explores the wonders of the multiverse. youtube.com/newscientist…

1 min.
a note from the editor

Although words and pictures are our bread and butter, New Scientist exists on many different platforms and, indeed, manifests itself very differently across them (one of those platforms being real life). It is always New Scientist, though – whether it is a podcast, a live event, a video, a holiday, a book or a one-off app special. In whatever we do, we strive for accuracy, as well as something I can only describe, however inadquately, as New Scientist-iness. Last week, after months of planning and pandemic-interrupted production, there was a further addition to our stable of New Scientist iterations: Science with Sam, a weekly video series on our YouTube channel hosted by New Scientist social media editor Sam Wong. This year, Sam will explain some of the biggest topics in science,…

2 min.
grown-up thinking needed

THE start of a new school year is always a significant moment for children, but never more so than this year. When schools in England, the US and many other nations reopen their doors this September, it will be the first time in months that the majority of children have stepped foot in a classroom. These children have made a big sacrifice in our fight against the coronavirus. Many teachers have made heroic efforts to suddenly switch to remote learning, but there is no doubt that pupils’ education has been affected. The pandemic has also prevented progress in closing the gap in academic achievement between the most disadvantaged children in England and their peers. Those disadvantaged children are now more than 18 months behind by the time they are 16, on…

2 min.
vaccine trial begins in us

A LARGE trial of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford has begun in the US. With similar trials already under way in the UK and Brazil, hopes are rising that we could find out if the vaccine works before the end of the year. A collaboration between the Oxford team and the drug firm AstraZeneca, this vaccine is one of the front-runners. Worldwide, eight other coronavirus vaccines have started large-scale trials, and 24 have begun smaller trials to assess safety. On 31 August, the US National Institutes of Health announced that the first of 30,000 volunteers had received either the Oxford vaccine, known as AZD1222, or a placebo consisting of salty water. One in three volunteers will get the placebo, but the trial is double blind, meaning that neither…

10 min.
how to safely reopen schools

SCHOOLS across England and the US are about to reopen their doors to students who have been at home for months thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. What is the best way to keep children, and school staff and parents, safe? Many of these schools closed towards the end of March as cases surged in both the UK and the US. Given how little we knew about the coronavirus at the time, closing schools was the right thing to do, say the researchers contacted by New Scientist. But we have learned a lot about how the virus spreads and who is at the greatest risk since then. While many questions remain, keeping children out of school is likely to be more harmful to them, and to society, in the long run. Back in March,…

2 min.
should children wear face coverings in school?

Days before schools reopened, the UK government reversed its advice that face coverings need not be worn by pupils in England. Now it recommends that secondary school children wear them in corridors and busy communal areas. Official advice on this has evolved during the pandemic. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises that young people over the age of 12 wear face coverings as adults do, ideally wherever it is difficult to maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others in places where coronavirus transmission is ongoing. This doesn’t apply to people with certain disabilities, or those who find wearing a face covering anxiety-provoking. For children aged between 6 and 11, the advice is more flexible. Whether a child wears a mask should depend on their ability to use one,…