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Inga Vesper

Journalist, editor, writer

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Society

Need a creativity boost? Try listening to happy background music

Need inspiration? Happy background music can help get the creative juices flowing. Simone Ritter, at Radboud University in the Netherlands, and Sam Ferguson, at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, have been studying the effect of silence and different types of music on how we think. A better understanding of how different types of music affect creativity is likely to be useful for many people, he says.

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Living near noisy roads could make it harder to get pregnant

Living near a noisy road seems to affect couples who are trying get pregnant, increasing the likelihood that it will take them between six to 12 months. That’s according to an analysis of 65,000 women living in Denmark.

Romania’s science reforms prompt boycott

Researchers in Romania are stepping up protests against controversial government science reforms. Hundreds of scientists at leading research institutions say they will refuse to sit on national panels that assess and award grants, after the Romanian researchers’ association Ad Astra called for the boycott on 30 May. But not all scientists in the country support the move.

Eyes show that stress reduces climate concern

An eye-tracking study reveals that stress levels affect how much attention people pay to climate change imagery, even if they are supportive of environmental issues.

Hawaii seeks to ban ‘reef-unfriendly’ sunscreen

A proposed Hawaiian bill aims to stop the sale of lotions containing certain UV-filters, but their effects on coral are disputed.

An alternative future

Dietmar Lampert, from Austria’s Centre for Social Innovation, hopes that digital science will create a better fit between innovation and society, Inga Vesper reports.

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