Editor's note

After declining for 15 years, the number of people who don’t have enough to eat – some 815 million people, or 11 percent of the global population – rose in 2016, according to a recent United Nations report. The main culprits were climate change and armed conflict, explains agriculture researcher Leah Samberg, who also spotlights a solution: providing more resources for small-scale farmers in rural areas.

Pundits differ on how to interpret Trump’s approach to the Iranian nuclear deal. But Nancy Gallagher, director of the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, shares public opinion data from on the ground in Iran that shows all of these interpretations “rest more on wishful thinking than a solid understanding of politics in Iran.”

And computer scientist Seth Copen Goldstein looks at the idea behind a forthcoming congressional proposal to combat “fake news” – based on lessons dating back to the presidential campaign of 1840.

Jennifer Weeks

Editor, Environment and Energy

Top stories

Smallholder agriculture in southern Ethiopia. Smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. Leah Samberg

World hunger is increasing thanks to wars and climate change

Leah Samberg, University of Minnesota

According to the UN, world hunger is rising for the first time in 15 years. The answer is not only growing more food, but also buffering small-scale farmers against climate change and armed conflicts.

People walk around the old main bazaar of Tehran, in Iran, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

Three ways Trump's nuclear strategy misunderstands the mood in Iran

Nancy Gallagher, University of Maryland

Surveys of Iranian public opinion from the University of Maryland suggests that Trump's strategy on the nuclear deal – no matter how you interpret it – is based on wishful thinking.

The American people used to get more information in common. sirtravelalot/Shutterstock.com

Solving the political ad problem with transparency

Seth Copen Goldstein, Carnegie Mellon University

Micro-targeted online advertising has destroyed how Americans share experiences and a common knowledge base. The fix for this societal and political problem is as simple now as it was in 1840.

Arts + Culture

  • How media sexism demeans women and fuels abuse by men like Weinstein

    Virginia García Beaudoux, University of Buenos Aires

    TV commercials continue to traffic in outmoded gender roles, relegating women to the home. A media scholar explains how these stereotypical portrayals can fuel workplace harassment by powerful men.

  • Is youth football past its prime?

    Roger Pielke Jr., University of Colorado

    After decades of continuous growth, participation rates have started to decline. What does it mean for the future of the sport?

Politics + Society

  • Why Russia thinks it's exceptional

    Gregory Carleton, Tufts University

    In the 19th century, Russian intellectuals launched a search for historical evidence of their moral and military superiority. What they found drives what today some call "Russian aggression."

Economy + Business

Health + Medicine

  • One step at a time: Simple nudges can increase lifestyle physical activity

    Matthew Mclaughlin, University of Newcastle; John Bellettiere, University of California, San Diego; Natasha Bliss, San Diego State University

    Dropping old, bad habits is hard, but starting new, good ones may not be so difficult. Or so a recent study suggests. Read how a simple sign at an airport made a difference.

Environment + Energy

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Today’s quote

For Russia, its triumph over Nazi Germany in the Second World War is a pillar of national identity. Yet outsiders don't often realize that Russians' belief in their special role in saving civilization from history's villains actually predates the war.


Why Russia thinks it's exceptional

Gregory Carleton

Tufts University

Gregory Carleton