Editor's note

A youthful political newcomer will be the next president of France. Winning more than 65 percent of the vote yesterday, Emmanuel Macron soundly beat far right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen. And yet some 9.7 million voted for Le Pen and 12 percent of those who did show up to vote submitted a blank ballot. Joshua Cole of the University of Michigan sees a “long struggle” ahead for Macron. The next hurdle: Parliamentary elections in just over a month.

“Fake news” and “echo chambers” may not be distorting politics as much as people fear. Michigan State media scholar William Dutton explains what a new survey of Americans and residents of six European countries reveals about how search engines are already helping burst those filter bubbles.

Critics often slam environmentalists as prophets of doom and accuse them of hyping threats to win support. Conservation scientist Diogo Verissimo explains why a positive vision for Earth’s future may be more effective in persuading people to care about nature.

Emily Costello

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Top story


Macron beats Le Pen, but can he lead France?

Joshua Cole, University of Michigan

Being president of France won't be easy for Emmanuel Macron. Without the support of an established political party, his legislative agenda may go nowhere fast.

Science + Technology

  • Fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles: Underresearched and overhyped

    William H. Dutton, Michigan State University

    Concerns over filter bubbles and fake news are often based on anecdotal evidence. There is relatively little systematic research on the topic; a new survey finds widespread fears are unwarranted.

  • People don’t trust scientific research when companies are involved

    John Besley, Michigan State University; Aaron M. McCright, Michigan State University; Joseph D. Martin, University of Leeds; Kevin Elliott, Michigan State University; Nagwan Zahry, Michigan State University

    Scientists need funding to do their work. But a new study finds turning to industry partners taints perceptions of university research, and including other kinds of partners doesn't really help.


  • Can we talk about free speech on campus?

    Neal H. Hutchens, University of Mississippi; Brandi Hephner LaBanc, University of Mississippi

    What legal rules must colleges and universities follow when it comes to speech on campus? And, beyond legal requirements, what is a school's obligation to protect – or limit – free speech?

Ethics + Religion

Environment + Energy

Arts + Culture

Economy + Business

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