US ERE HIGHLIGHTS THIS MONTH
RESEARCH PENCILS PEACE
Those who follow the news daily gain the impression that the world is sinking into war. Many conflicts are complicated, their solution is like a Herculean task. But the work is worthwhile, as scientists of various disciplines who are dedicated to peace research have shown. They help conflict parties to find peaceful ways out.
ROTORS FOR THE CITY
Wind power plants that generate electricity in a climate-friendly way in the middle of large cities and on rooftops have been few and far between. A shortcoming is their low efficiency. Researchers now want to change that - with promising projects in Germany and the USA, for example. display
EXOPLANET BEFORE THE DOOR
A super-earth far beyond Neptune could explain why the earth's orbit is tilted towards the equator. There are some indications for this unknown ninth planet.
WILDERNESS AS WISHES
Areas where nature is not tamed provide a habitat for many animal and plant species. Environmentalists help with the Verwildern carefully.
CLOSING ACCORD FOR ROSETTA
The mission of the European spacecraft to comet 67P ("Churi") is over. She has brought groundbreaking results - such as the life molecule Glyzin.
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A debate on alleged "fake news" has led me to ask our readership council: should journalists focus more on the doubts and contradictions that exist in science in order to increase their confidence? The answer of the readers is "Yes, but ...". Of course, the impression should not arise that science is dogmatic or even stubborn. Self-doubt and collegial criticism are pronounced in research and ensure that one does not overlook any counterarguments. But some readers warned against going to the other extreme and declaring everything undecided and in need of discussion. That would not do justice to the reliability of most scientific findings.
Controversial in the March issue was our cover story on Integrative Medicine. Exaggerated asked: Should one take the complementary medicine in all its forms seriously and examine more exactly how some physicians do it - or should one dismiss them as a hocus-pocus? It is not true that there is a good therapy with clear evidence of efficacy for every disease, and not a few patients seek their salvation outside medicine. Opinions differ on this topic in the readers' council: Some criticize that the complementary medicine is improperly upgraded if it is classified as a potentially useful therapy option. Others accept this revaluation as long as the complementary therapy is clinically tested according to the usual standards - which the Integrative Medicine claims for itself. And again, others find that there are more important issues in the healthcare system. On our reader letter pages we present you further opinions.
I see science journalism as an important forum for such debates, because it is precisely medicine that makes it clear that research is aimed at people and therefore can not always be considered detached from social issues. And I am convinced that science can confidently engage in such debates: to deal with complementary medicine is not an appeal to lower the standards of medicine. It is rather an opportunity to explain the benefits of these standards. I'll do the experiment on page 24.
PS: On the 24th of May we invite you to the Super Science Slam in Heilbronn. Our partners are the "experimenta" and the science in dialogue initiative. At the "experimenta", which will be expanded to become Germany's largest Science Center, six young scientists will be appearing at 7 pm and explain their work with expertise and wit. Further information: www.wissenschaft.de/ scienceslam
Your Alexander Mäder
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