Editor's note

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us, a reminder that there is still much to learn about the disease, even as detection methods and treatment options have expanded. A key question for many women is: how do I lower my risk? Being physically fit has long been known to do so but there’s more to that story, writes Henry J. Thompson, director of the cancer prevention laboratory of Colorado State University.

In a recent survey, just 56 percent of Americans said they saw climate change as a major threat, versus 64 percent of Europeans. What explains the gap? Gregory Carbone at the University of South Carolina reviews the convincing – and less convincing – explanations for our nation’s attitude.

Playboy’s founder, Hugh Hefner, who died last week at the age of 91, was widely criticized for objectifying women through his magazine. But historian Carrie Pitzulo from Colorado State argues that Hefner’s sexual politics need to be viewed in the context of its times. “In those early years of Playboy,” she writes, “the centerfolds offered readers an expanded vision of female sexuality.”

Lynne Anderson

Senior Editor, Health & Medicine

Top story

Physical activity has long been considered a way to lower risk for breast cancer. vectorfusionart/Shutterstock.com

How inherited fitness may affect breast cancer risk

Henry J. Thompson, Colorado State University

Physical activity is considered an important way to lower risk for breast cancer. But what if your ability to be fit is influenced by genes you inherit? Would that raise your risk? In rats, it did.

Environment + Energy

Ethics + Religion


  • The enduring power of print for learning in a digital world

    Patricia A. Alexander, University of Maryland; Lauren M. Singer, University of Maryland

    Digital textbooks might be less cumbersome. But a new series of studies finds that reading from screens can hamper our ability to process and retain information.

Science + Technology

Economy + Business

  • Do tax cuts stimulate the economy more than spending?

    Dale O. Cloninger, University of Houston-Clear Lake

    President Trump recently released his tax plan, but he's also said he wants to stimulate the economy with infrastructure spending. Is one more effective than the other at boosting growth?

Politics + Society

Nobel Prize in physics

Health + Medicine

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Today’s quote

Like many of my colleagues working for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the morning of Monday, September 14, 2015 caught me completely off-guard. For years, we’ve been joking that Advanced LIGO would be so sensitive we might just detect one the very first day it turns on. In retrospect, it’s remarkable how close to reality that joke turned out to be.

  Chad Hanna