Features

Blue binders of white donors: sorting race out in South African IVF

This article is part of the series:

Miracle babies. The microscopic enchantments of embryos. The image of a woman holding that much-desired infant. In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is replete with awe-inducing imagery, often bordering on the near religious. Kylie, an embryologist I interviewed in Cape Town described the images of IVF as part of the inspiring stories that drew her into the field: “I watched a …

Features

Texting Like A State: mHealth and the first thousand days in South Africa

This article is part of the series:

What does making a new life look like from the perspective of a mobile phone?

For the phone of a woman using the public health care system in Cape Town, South Africa, in all likelihood involves a series of WhatsApp conversations with a partner, with friends and kin. The phone helps with “Googling” questions about health and childcare, maybe about …

Features

Things Which Have Once Been Conjoined: Science Fiction, Contagion, and Magic in the Age of Social Media

This article is part of the series:

There are many interesting formations that might be called networked phenomena. Homophily and the tendency towards triad closure. Scott Feld’s Rule (I’m more likely to make friends with someone who has more friends than me). Small world phenomena (those 6 degrees of separation). “The Strength of Weak Ties” (reportedly the most cited sociology paper in history). In all, a series …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Marching for Science, which is what, exactly?

Many of you may have marched (or chosen not to march) at last week’s March for Science. I marched with my partner and young son here in Coimbatore, India.

It’s fair to say that confusion, controversy, and disagreement plagued the Science March from early on, for two important reasons: The first, from a group of scientists who believe the …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Photography and Visual Tech

This month’s Web Roundup is focused loosely around the theme of the visual. How do we use photography and other mediums to tell stories, and what stories do those technologies tell about us?

The New York Times Magazine did a feature on travel photography, called Voyages. The online version of the 6 highlighted pieces is both interesting and visually …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Ethical Technology, Moral Medicine

Researchers at MIT have launched Moral Machine, a web project to help gauge human perspectives on “moral decisions made by machine intelligence.” The project comes in the wake of a new Science study regarding the complicated tangle of ethics and driverless cars, where the classic ‘trolley problem’ has been scaled up for new technology. Scientific American, weighing in, …