Editor's note

Over the weekend, American politicians from the right and the left expressed the opinion that removing Bashar Al-Assad from power is vital for a peaceful future in Syria. But exactly how to make that happen? David Alpher, an expert on conflict resolution, examines the history of US attempts at regime change and offers a few pointed lessons for the Trump administration.

For those looking to the next round of elections, Vanderbilt University's Eugene Vorobeychik has developed a method of ensuring that hacking the vote is more difficult, and audits are more successful – by taking advantage of randomness.

The well-to-do have long had a reputation as stingy. Even Gospel writers gave them grief. RIch people are more likely, for example, to evade taxes and less likely to donate to charity. But are they really more selfish than the rest of us? Economists Jan Stoop, James Andreoni and Nikos Nikiforakis “misdelivered” envelopes stuffed with cash to find out.

Emily Costello

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Top story

A roll of pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus June 21, 2011. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

Why can't America just take out Assad?

David Alpher, George Mason University

History suggests it would be a big mistake.

Politics + Society

Science + Technology

  • Using randomness to protect election integrity

    Eugene Vorobeychik, Vanderbilt University

    To defend elections against sophisticated attackers, auditors need to use advanced methods too – including the influence of randomness.

  • Melding mind and machine: How close are we?

    James Wu, University of Washington; Rajesh P. N. Rao, University of Washington

    Brain-computer interfacing is a hot topic in the tech world, with Elon Musk's announcement of his new Neuralink startup. Here, researchers separate what's science from what's currently still fiction.

Health + Medicine

Arts + Culture

Economy + Business

  • Are the rich more selfish than the rest of us?

    Jan Stoop, Erasmus University Rotterdam; James Andreoni, University of California, San Diego; Nikos Nikiforakis, New York University Abu Dhabi

    The wealthy evade taxes and are less likely to donate to charity, but does this mean they're more selfish than everyone else? New research Suggests not.

Ethics + Religion

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