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BC-The Conversation for October 20, 10am, ADVISORY

October 20, 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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Future of college will involve fewer professors

COMMENTARY A futurist who focuses on education technology says artificial intelligence is slowly making human professors less vital to colleges and universities. 845 words. By Patricia A. Young, University of Maryland, Baltimore County


Cities worldwide aren’t adapting to climate change quickly enough

COMMENTARY More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and that share is growing. Rapid climate change could make many cities unlivable in the coming decades without major investments to adapt. 1051 words. By John Rennie Short, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

How ideas from ancient Greek philosophy may have driven civilization toward climate change

RELIGION The Athens fires were a dangerous reflection of Atomist philosophies that see the world as exploitable, for sale and open to waste and abuse. 1058 words. By Michael Paul Nelson, Oregon State University and Kathleen Dean Moore, Oregon State University

Trailblazing women who broke into engineering in the 1970s reflect on what’s changed – and what hasn’t

SCIENCE OR TECHNOLOGY A survey of 251 women engineers who graduated from college in the 1970s sheds light on the experiences of these professional pioneers. 859 words. By Laura Ettinger, Clarkson University

Can Facebook’s smart glasses be smart about security and privacy?

SCIENCE OR TECHNOLOGY Smart glasses like Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories could be used to record you surreptitiously. If the company adds facial recognition, you could be even more exposed. 1015 words. By Apu Kapadia, Indiana University


Wiccans in the US military are mourning the dead in Afghanistan this year as they mark Samhain, the original Halloween

RELIGION Samhain will be particularly poignant this year for Wiccans who are members or veterans of the US military as they process the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan. 893 words. By Helen A. Berger, Brandeis University

Smells like witch spirit: How the ancient world’s scented sorceresses influence ideas about magic today

COMMENTARY Scent and magic have been entwined in our imaginations for centuries – right up to today’s witch-inspired perfumes. 981 words. By Britta Ager, Arizona State University

Viruses are both the villains and heroes of life as we know it

SCIENCE OR TECHNOLOGY Viruses have gotten a bad rap for the many illnesses and pandemics they’ve caused. But viruses are also genetic innovators – and possibly the pioneers of using DNA as the genetic blueprint of life. 868 words. By Ivan Erill, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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