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Why and how science should respect the dignity and rights of all humans

We recently announced the adoption of new ethics guidance for research about human groups. We now provide background and examples to clarify why we developed this guidance and how we will be using it.

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  • COVID-19

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine has wreaked death and destruction in the country, with wide-ranging impacts on the global world order. This focus highlights the experiences of Ukrainian scientists – at home and abroad – and provides insights into the many impacts of the war, including food insecurity, sanctions, disinformation, cyberwarfare, mental health, and the refugee crisis.

  • Pencils of many different colours

    Lack of diversity, equity and inclusion is harmful both for individual scientists and the scientific enterprise as a whole. The contributions in this collection highlight problems and propose solutions on how to make science more equitable, inclusive and diverse for the benefit of all.

  • Vaccine vials on a pie chart that's uneven

    Equitable distribution of resources to fight COVID-19 is a global challenge. In this collection of research and opinion articles, researchers, public health officials, intellectual property experts, leaders of international organizations, and activists explain how global inequities in COVID-19 vaccine allocation continue fuelling the pandemic, and discuss ways to address these disparities.

Nature Human Behaviour is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.

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  • Kristal et al. find that rewriting a résumé so that previously held jobs are listed with the number of years worked (instead of employment dates) increases callbacks from real employers compared to résumés without employment gaps by approximately 8%.

    • Ariella S. Kristal
    • Leonie Nicks
    • Oliver P. Hauser
    Article
  • This research finds that negative adjectives evolve faster over history than positive adjectives, with limited evidence for other parts of speech. Individual people are also more likely to replace negative words than positive words.

    • Joshua Conrad Jackson
    • Kristen Lindquist
    • Joseph Watts
    Article
  • Using data from 15 countries, Penner et al. find that women earn less than men who are working for the same employer in the same occupation. These results highlight the continued importance of equal pay for equal work.

    • Andrew M. Penner
    • Trond Petersen
    • Zaibu Tufail
    Article Open Access
  • Goldenberg et al. find that people are attracted to social ties who are more politically extreme, rather than moderate. This tendency, called acrophily, is shown to occur when people select ties on the basis of both emotions and attitudes to political issues.

    • Amit Goldenberg
    • Joseph M. Abruzzo
    • James J. Gross
    Article
  • This paper uses historical folklore to show that a society’s degree of market interactions is strongly associated with the cultural salience of prosocial behaviour, interpersonal trust, universalist moral values, and emotions of guilt and shame.

    • Benjamin Enke
    Article
  • Leveraging data from a longitudinal field experiment, Taylor and colleagues show that identity cues, such as a username, increase how viewers vote and reply to online content. Their results support a rich-get-richer dynamic when identity cues are salient.

    • Sean J. Taylor
    • Lev Muchnik
    • Sinan Aral
    Article
  • US universities have made public commitments to recruit and retain faculty of colour. Analysis of three federal datasets shows that at current rates diversity in US faculty will never reach racial parity. Yet, colleges and universities could achieve parity by 2050 by diversifying their faculty at 3.5 times the current pace.

    • J. Nathan Matias
    • Neil A. Lewis
    • Elan C. Hope
    Comment
  • Trophy hunting remains a high-octane debate for scholars and actors at various levels, including governments, lobbies, supranational bodies, local communities and broader publics. These actors are often driven by a range of competing interests. Bridging the divides will require collaboration and a focus on shared goals.

    • Mucha Mkono
    Comment
  • Climate change is an immense challenge. Human behaviour is crucial in climate change mitigation, and in tackling the arising consequences. In this joint Focus issue between Nature Climate Change and Nature Human Behaviour, we take a closer look at the role of human behaviour in the climate crisis.

    Editorial
  • Many academic researchers wish to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation in relevant ways, but do not know how. Wolfgang Knorr, cofounder of ‘Faculty for a Future’, talks to Nature Human Behaviour about how academic researchers can create meaningful impact and can help to address the climate crisis

    • Samantha Antusch
    Q&A
Coronaviruses floating in a city.

COVID-19 and human behaviour

Human behaviour has been critical in shaping the COVID-19 pandemic, and the actions of individuals, groups, nation states and international bodies all have a role to play in curbing its spread. This means that insights from behavioural, social and health sciences are and will continue to be invaluable throughout the course of the pandemic. In this Focus, we bring together original research and expert viewpoints from a broad spectrum of disciplines that provide insight into the causes, impacts, and mitigation of the pandemic, highlighting how research on individual and collective behaviour can contribute to an effective response.
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