Scientists against child separation; Refugees in Focus;It’s a small world

“Ethical markets highly recommends this report from the world’s scientists on the dangers of child-separation. ~Hazel Henderson, Editor“

Wednesday 20 June 2018Nature Briefing

Hello Nature readers,
Today we hear why scientists are standing up against US President Donald Trump’s controversial policy of taking children from their parents at the US border, meet IBM’s debate-bot and celebrate 20 years of the ‘small-world’ effect.

Children inside a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention facility in Texas.

Children at Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center in Texas. (Courtesy US Customs and Border Protection/Handout via REUTERS)

Scientists stand up against child separation

Child-health researchers and pediatricians are speaking out against US President Donald Trump’s controversial policy of taking children from their parents at the US border. The American Academy of Pediatrics said the practice “can cause irreparable harm to lifelong development” and “contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians”. Child-development researcher Jack Shonkoff points to the “wear and tear effect biologically” of long-term separations. “They’re not flailing and screaming, [but] underneath in their bodies, their stress system is still highly activated — silently, invisibly.”

BBC | 6 min read


Download a PDF of the award-winning infographic.

The science behind world migration

For World Refugee Day, revisit Nature’s special issue examining the facts around migration.

Discover the whole special issue from 2017.


It’s a small world after all

The idea that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else by just six degrees of separation was explained by the ‘small-world’ network model 20 years ago. What seemed to be a niche finding later proved to be the key to understanding the structure of the World Wide Web and how anatomical and functional areas of the brain communicate with each other.

Nature | 6 min read
Reference: Nature paper

In the ‘small-world’ effect, links between nodes of a network (a) are rewired at random. Eventually, an increasing number of short cuts (red lines) connect distant nodes in the network (b).