Editor's note

Is it nearly the end of an era? A federal panel of judges threw out North Carolina’s district map this week for unconstitutional gerrymandering. The decision signals a potential shift for elections across the U.S., says Penn State’s Christopher Beem. Two cases before the Supreme Court this term directly confront partisan gerrymandering – and pressure is mounting for the court to issue clear guidelines.

Residents in the eastern U.S. are recovering from a particularly long bout of frigid weather. Paradoxically, as atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis explains, warming in the Arctic may contribute to these types of cold snaps in North America.

Plus, two years before the #MeToo campaign, Brazilian women began spotlighting sexism with hashtags that translate to #MyFirstHarassment and #MyDearTeacher. Scholars Alvaro Jarrin and Kia Lilly Caldwell examine how black activists have seized on this feminist resurgence to fight particular issues facing women of color in Brazil, from bad health care to racism in cosmetic surgery.

Aviva Rutkin

Big Data + Applied Mathematics Editor

Top stories

The word ‘gerrymandering’ comes from the name of Elbridge Gerry, Massachusetts governor in the 1800s. AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Thanks to the North Carolina case, partisan gerrymandering's day of reckoning may soon be upon us

Christopher Beem, Pennsylvania State University

Judges in North Carolina just threw out the state's congressional district map. The decision could have major implications for the future of partisan gerrymandering across the US.

Seriously cold: The ‘bomb cyclone’ freezes a fountain in New York City. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Is warming in the Arctic behind this year's crazy winter weather?

Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University

An atmospheric scientist who studies the Arctic explains why – because of global warming – the U.S. may be in for longer cold spells in the winter.

Intersectionality in action: Brazilian women are organizing across class and race lines to decry inequality in a country that remains deeply ‘machista.’ Naco Doce/Reuters

Beyond #MeToo, Brazilian women rise up against racism and sexism

Alvaro Jarrin, College of the Holy Cross; Kia Lilly Caldwell, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Before #MeToo, Brazilian women launched #MyFirstHarrassment and marched for racial equality. Today, this feminist resurgence is tackling health care, plastic surgery, violence and more.

Health + Medicine

Politics + Society

Arts + Culture

Science + Technology

  • Quantum speed limit may put brakes on quantum computers

    Sebastian Deffner, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

    A future that continues to have increasingly fast computing depends on quantum physics – but research is showing that there are limits to how fast quantum computers can go.

Environment + Energy

  • Craft beer is becoming the wine of New England by redefining 'terroir'

    Daina Cheyenne Harvey, College of the Holy Cross; Ellis Jones, College of the Holy Cross

    Winemakers call the ecological factors that define their product terroir. By redefining that idea to include history and social ties, New England craft brewers have grown an industry with local roots.

From our international editions

Today’s quote

Human trials from around the world and pockets of the U.S. offer modestly strong evidence of marijuana’s benefits in a number of disorders, such as intractable nausea and vomiting, chronic pain and severe muscle spasms and epilepsy.


What Jeff Sessions doesn't understand about medical marijuana

C. Michael White

University of Connecticut

C. Michael White