Editor's note

Big technology companies like Apple and Google are working hard to develop self-driving cars. But the reason isn’t necessarily to make human passengers safer or more relaxed. Jack Barkenbus, a Vanderbilt scholar of connections between society and technology, observes a much more direct financial incentive at play.

Just a few weeks ago, runners in North Carolina participated in “Gerrymander 5k”, a race around the strange and twisty boundaries of their local voting district. Bizarre district shapes are often considered a tell-tale sign of partisan gerrymandering. But a new mathematical analysis from Ohio State suggests that those bizarre shapes are sometimes the only way to divide up districts fairly.

And on World AIDS Day, Case Western Reserve University scholar Allison Webel notes that more and more people in the U.S. are living with AIDS as a chronic condition rather than dying from it within a matter of months, as was often the case only three decades ago. This good news, however, brings its own set of problems: how to age with AIDS. “While people with HIV are living longer, they are also living with unique challenges regarding how to age well,” writes Webel.

Jeff Inglis

Science + Technology Editor

Top stories

Tech companies want to reduce conflict between texting and driving. Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock.com

Why Silicon Valley wants you to text and drive

Jack Barkenbus, Vanderbilt University

Why do tech companies care so much about self-driving cars? If drivers no longer need to pay attention to the road, they can use their mobile devices even more.

Illinois’s Fourth Congressional District is often called out for its ‘earmuff’ shape, but there’s an ideal behind its strange appearance. SBTL1/flickr

Stop criticizing bizarrely shaped voting districts. They might not be gerrymandered after all

Dustin G. Mixon, The Ohio State University

Gerrymandered districts are under fire across the US. But a weird district shape isn't necessarily a bad one.

In honor of National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Raheem DeVaughn sings to hundreds of women gathered at the launch of the national campaign on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Oakland, California. /Invision for AIDS Healthcare Foundation/AP Images/Peter Barreras

Living and aging well with HIV: New strategies and new research

Allison Webel, Case Western Reserve University

HIV has no boundaries. Men and women in almost every country are affected. Yet strides have been made, so much so that many are able to think of living with AIDS rather than dying from it.

Science + Technology

Politics + Society

  • Could the ERA pass in the #Metoo era?

    Leigh Ann Wheeler, Binghamton University, State University of New York

    A huge majority of Americans support equal rights for women. Is now the right time to get an amendment passed?

Health + Medicine

Environment + Energy

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Ethics + Religion

World AIDS Day

Today’s quote

Fame – more than art, more than religion, more than money – motivated Manson as he careened from prison, to aspiring musician, to murder.

  William McKeen