BC-The Conversation for December 6, 10am, ADVISORY

December 6, 2021 GMT

Here’s a look at what The Conversation, a non-profit source of explanatory journalism from experts in academia, is offering today.

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-Christmas history

-Ocean plastic

-Chris Cuomo



How Christmas became an American holiday tradition, with a Santa Claus, gifts and a tree


RELIGION Christmas was popularized in the American culture during the American Civil War, when Harper’s Weekly featured the image of Santa Claus visiting the Union Army on its front page. 927 words. By Thomas Adam, University of Arkansas

Modern-day culture wars are playing out on historic tours of slaveholding plantations

COMMENTARY The romanticized notions of Southern gentility are increasingly at odds with historical reality as the lives, culture and contributions of the enslaved are becoming integral on tours of plantations. 835 words. By Kelley Fanto Deetz, University of California, Berkeley

How did Uncle Sam become a symbol for the United States?

COMMENTARY The iconic image may have originated with a meat supplier named Samuel Wilson. Or not. 564 words. By Paul Bruski, Iowa State University

Why addressing racism against Black women in health care is key to ending the US HIV epidemic

COMMENTARY Black American women have disproportionate HIV infection rates – in part because of systemic and structural racism in the health care system. 1212 words. By Nabila El-Bassel, Columbia University

Consumers value a product viewed online more if they see it being virtually touched

COMMENTARY New research shows people experience the ‘endowment effect’ of valuing an object more when they can touch it, even in virtual settings. 677 words. By Andrea Luangrath, University of Iowa


An expert draws 7 lessons about US gun laws from the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the Rittenhouse verdict

COMMENTARY Spoiler alert: Stolen guns arm criminals, and limiting gun carrying outside the home reduces violent crime. 956 words. By John Donohue, Stanford University

How dual loyalties created an ethics problem for Chris Cuomo and CNN

COMMENTARY A journalist’s role is to serve the public interest. But CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, by helping his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a scandal, put personal interests above the public’s. 1127 words. By Jane E Kirtley, University of Minnesota

Plastic trash in the ocean is a global problem, and the US is the top source – a new report urges action

COMMENTARY An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters the ocean each year – equivalent to dumping in a garbage truckload of it every minute. A new report calls on the US to help stem the deluge. 917 words. By Matthew Savoca, Stanford University; Anna Robuck, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Lauren Kashiwabara, University of the Pacific

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