Whistleblowers are a crucial safety valve in any system – they’re the insiders who can spot wrongdoing and alert higher-ups, and even the public, to prevent or reduce harm. You might think companies and governments, and society as a whole, would be grateful. There are laws protecting whistleblowers from being demoted or fired for their honesty.

Indiana University’s Jennifer Pacella has studied what actually happens to whistleblowers after they raise red flags. Her explanation of the treatment of intelligence-community whistleblowers is an alarm all its own.

Also this week, we liked stories about why no one likes the next generation’s music, medical marijuana in 1800s France and the reason it’s impossible for you to get the flu from the flu shot.

Blowing the whistle carries major risks. BlueSkyImage/Shutterstock.com

Intelligence whistleblowers often pay a severe price

Jennifer M. Pacella, Indiana University

In many instances, whistleblowers find the abusive power they have revealed turned against them, both ending their careers and harming their personal lives.

For many older people, today’s music goes in one ear and out the other. Shutterstock.com/photograph.kiev

Curious Kids: Why do old people hate new music?

Frank T. McAndrew, Knox College

Music doesn't get objectively worse over time. So why do older generations scoff at each new top 40 hit?

France is exploring the uses of marijuana as medicine. Lifestyle discover/SHutterstock.com

France forgets own golden age of medical marijuana

David A Guba, Jr., Bard Early College Baltimore

After a long prohibition, France is permitting medical cannabis trials. This isn't the first time that France is testing medicinal marijuana – in the 19th century it led the world in this research.

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