Tania Lombrozo | KUOW News and Information

Tania Lombrozo

When it comes to assessing the possible risks and benefits of science and technology, who is the relevant authority?

University scientists? Industry scientists? Religious organizations?

On Nov. 8, the World Meteorological Organization published a press release summarizing the findings from a report on global climate from 2011-2015.

Millions of Americans will cast a vote for the next president of the United States on Nov. 8 — Election Day — and for countless other offices and propositions.

In case you need the extra encouragement, here are three (more) reasons to vote, courtesy of the social sciences:

With the presidential election days away — and media attention at full force — let's take a moment to consider some random facts that are not about the election:

1. Seahorses are nearly unique in the animal kingdom in that males carry the fertilized eggs after breeding and eventually "give birth." The number of offspring can reach thousands.

Many parents who grew up playing outdoors with friends, walking alone to the park or to school, and enjoying other moments of independent play are now raising children in a world with very different norms.

In the United States today, leaving children unsupervised is grounds for moral outrage and can lead to criminal charges.

What's changed?

As a mother of young children, I've heard the following rosy message from more than one slightly more-seasoned mom: "Don't worry, it gets easier!"

It's a message of hope and encouragement, a recognition of how hard some aspects of early motherhood can be. But according to new research, it might also be wrong.

Consider the following recent headlines:

"Don't touch baby wild animals, no matter how cute they might be" (Alaska Dispatch News)

"Animals are smarter than humans give them credit for" (New York Magazine)

What makes for a truly merry Christmas? Is your time better spent picking perfect, personalized gifts and decorating your home, or enjoying holiday cheer with family and friends?

Confusion gets a bad rap.

A textbook that confuses its readers sounds like a bad textbook. Teachers who confuse their students sound like bad teachers.

But research suggests that some of the time, confusion can actually be a good thing — an important step toward learning.

Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department Health and Human Services convene an advisory committee to develop dietary guidelines based on the latest scientific and medical research. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines won't be released until later this year, but they're already generating debate.