The Conversation

The Conversation

conversationThe Conversation US arose out of deep-seated concerns for the fading quality of our public discourse – and recognition of the vital role that academic experts can play in the public arena.

Independent and not-for-profit, it is part of a global network of newsrooms first launched in Australia in 2011. The Conversation began its US operations in 2014, and now also publishes in Canada, the UK, France, Indonesia, Africa, Spain as well as Australia.

The Conversation’s mission is particularly resonant in the U.S., where people universally sense that the country’s social fabric is strained and the common ground people share is shrinking.

Information always has been essential to democracy – a societal good, like clean water. But many now find it difficult to put their trust in the media. And with little consensus about what to believe, it only becomes harder to reach agreement with fellow citizens regarding what’s truthful.

The Conversation US seeks to be part of the solution to this problem.

The Conversation’s editorial process is deliberate and collaborative. Editors pay close attention to the news environment to identify the issues citizens are concerned about. They reach out to leading scholars across academia and work with them to unlock their knowledge for the broad public.

Through a Creative Commons license, we share Conversation US articles – at no charge to news organizations – across the geographic and ideological spectrum. We pay particular attention to strengthening news organizations that are severely under-resourced. The Associated Press distributes The Conversation US articles daily to thousands of newsrooms.read more>

Website URL: https://theconversation.com/us

Twitter posts show that people are profoundly sad – and are visiting parks to cheer up

Joe Roman, University of Vermont and Taylor Ricketts, University of Vermont

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the “happiness” of people’s words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Parents with children forced to do school at home are drinking more

Susan Sonnenschein, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Elyse R. Grossman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

We found that parents who are stressed by having to help their children with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic drink seven more drinks per month than parents who do not report feeling stressed by distance learning. These stressed parents are also twice as likely to report binge drinking at least once over the prior month than parents who are not stressed, according to our results. Binge drinking, which varies by gender, is when women consume at least four, or men have at least five alcoholic beverages (which includes beer, wine, or liquor) within a couple hours of each other.

Love avocados? Thank the toxodon

  Jeffrey Miller, Colorado State University

 Leer en español.

Given avocado’s popularity today, it’s hard to believe that we came close to not having them in our supermarkets at all.

 In my new book “Avocado: A Global History,” I explain how the avocado survived a series of ecological and cultural close calls that could have easily relegated them to extinction or niche delicacy. Instead, the avocado persevered, prospered – and became one of the most Instagrammed foods in the world.

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