April 25, 2014

Katharine HayhoeKatharine Hayhoe on TIME’s List of the 100 Most Influential People
Don Cheadle: There’s something fascinating about a smart person who defies stereotype. That’s what makes my friend Katharine Hayhoe—a Texas Tech climatologist and an evangelical Christian—so interesting. (TIME)

Does Walking Boost Creativity?
Walking seemed to improve the participants’ scores on a test of creative thinking, the researchers said. (Megan Gannon, Live Science)

How Neurotics Feel About Action
We’re all familiar with the character traits—withdrawn moodiness, impulsivity, and a crippling inability to act—but researchers still don’t fully understand neuroticism’s cognitive roots. Now, a study led by Texas Tech University’s Molly Ireland has shed some new light on the hard-to-pin-down characteristic. Apparently, neurotics really just don’t like doing things. (Paul Bisceglio, Pacific Standard)

Humanists in the Army
Elizabeth Drescher: Responding favorably to a February letter from the ACLU, the Department of Defense this week ended more than two years of stonewalling over a request from U.S. Army Major Ray Bradley to amend the approved list of religious preferences used on military records. Bradley and others may now identify as “Humanist” rather than “Agnostic,” “Atheist,” “no religious preference,” or “none”—the codes previously approved by the Army Chaplaincy for service members with non-religious beliefs and practices. The new faith code is significant in a number of ways. (Religion Dispatches)

Effort to Repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act Fails—Again
The Louisiana Senate Education Committee declined with a vote of 3-1 to strike down a controversial law Thursday that critics say allows teachers to bring creationism into public school science classrooms. Similar legislation has come before the committee for a few years in a row and has always failed to pass. (Julia O’Donoghue, The Times-Picayune)

Investigating Hope and Optimism
Philosophers at the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University have been awarded a 3.8-million-dollar grant to study hope and optimism. The grant from the John Templeton Foundation will be used by Notre Dame philosopher Samuel Newlands and Cornell philosopher Andrew Chignell for a three-year, interdisciplinary effort that will explore the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of hope and optimism. (Associated Press)

Category: Field Notes

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