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The Power of Integrative Thinking

Today’s greatest challenges—public health, climate change, social and racial injustice among them—demand solutions that are not only scientific and technical but also political, cultural, and historical. Meeting these challenges as a 21st century land-grant university demands an integrative approach that the combined power of the arts & sciences must lead.
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Polar bears unlikely to adapt to longer summers

More time stranded on land means greater risk of starvation for polar bears, a new study indicates. During three summer weeks, 20 polar bears closely observed by scientists tried different strategies to maintain energy reserves, including resting, scavenging and foraging. Yet nearly all of them lost weight rapidly: on average around 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, per day. […]

Exposure to soft robots decreases human fears about working with them

Seeing robots made with soft, flexible parts in action appears to lower people’s anxiety about working with them or even being replaced by them. A Washington State University study found that watching videos of a soft robot working with a person at picking and placing tasks lowered the viewers’ safety concerns and feelings of job […]

Faster postal service linked to better voter turnout

A more efficient U.S. Postal Service can increase voter turnout in all states regardless of their mail voting laws, according to a Washington State University study. WSU researcher Michael Ritter analyzed election data from 2012 through 2020, when the pandemic encouraged many more people than usual to vote by mail. He found that in general […]

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