Opinion

  • Opinion |

    Tanzania's iconic national park must not be divided by a highway, say Andrew Dobson, Markus Borner, Tony Sinclair and 24 others. A route farther south would bring greater benefits to development and the environment.

    • Andrew P. Dobson
    • , Markus Borner
    • , Anthony R. E. Sinclair
    • , Peter J. Hudson
    • , T. Michael Anderson
    • , Gerald Bigurube
    • , Tim B. B. Davenport
    • , James Deutsch
    • , Sarah M. Durant
    • , Richard D. Estes
    • , Anna B. Estes
    • , John Fryxell
    • , Charles Foley
    • , Michelle E. Gadd
    • , Dan Haydon
    • , Ricardo Holdo
    • , Robert D. Holt
    • , Katherine Homewood
    • , J. Grant C. Hopcraft
    • , Ray Hilborn
    • , George L. K. Jambiya
    • , M. Karen Laurenson
    • , Lota Melamari
    • , Alais Ole Morindat
    • , Joseph O. Ogutu
    • , George Schaller
    •  & Eric Wolanski
  • Opinion |

    Taxonomists should work with specialists in pattern recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence, say Norman MacLeod, Mark Benfield and Phil Culverhouse — more accuracy and less drudgery will result.

    • Norman MacLeod
    • , Mark Benfield
    •  & Phil Culverhouse
  • Opinion |

    The main consumer-targeted certification scheme for sustainable fisheries is failing to protect the environment and needs radical reform, say Jennifer Jacquet, Daniel Pauly and colleagues.

    • Jennifer Jacquet
    • , Daniel Pauly
    • , David Ainley
    • , Sidney Holt
    • , Paul Dayton
    •  & Jeremy Jackson
  • Opinion |

    New Orleans's recovery five years on from Katrina is a harbinger of how climate change will drive a thicker wedge between the haves and the have-nots, says John Mutter.

    • John Mutter
  • Opinion |

    National censuses and surveys are threatened around the world by high costs and low response rates. The demographic data they yield are too valuable to lose, warn Stephen E. Fienberg and Kenneth Prewitt.

    • Stephen E. Fienberg
    •  & Kenneth Prewitt
  • Opinion |

    Although largely unregulated, genetic tests are increasingly used to diagnose conditions, map ancestry or predict disease risk. In this, the first of two related pieces, Arthur L. Beaudet advocates the US Food and Drug Administration banning direct-to-consumer medical tests but leaving the analysis of clinical diagnostics to specialists. In the second, Gail Javitt argues that the agency should implement a regulatory framework for all health-related tests.

    • Arthur L. Beaudet
  • Opinion |

    Although largely unregulated, genetic tests are increasingly used to diagnose conditions, map ancestry or predict disease risk. In this, the second of two related pieces, Gail Javitt argues that the US Food and Drug Administration should implement a regulatory framework for all health-related tests. In the first, Arthur L. Beaudet advocates the agency banning direct-to-consumer medical tests but leaving the analysis of clinical diagnostics to specialists.

    • Gail Javitt
  • Opinion |

    Telecommunications companies and oceanographers should work together to plug old and new submarine cables into research projects, says Yuzhu You. A global network could monitor climate change.

    • Yuzhu You
  • Opinion |

    To feed the world without further damaging the planet, Jeffrey Sachs and 24 food-system experts call for a global data collection and dissemination network to track the myriad impacts of different farming practices.

    • Jeffrey Sachs
    • , Roseline Remans
    • , Sean Smukler
    • , Leigh Winowiecki
    • , Sandy J. Andelman
    • , Kenneth G. Cassman
    • , David Castle
    • , Ruth DeFries
    • , Glenn Denning
    • , Jessica Fanzo
    • , Louise E. Jackson
    • , Rik Leemans
    • , Johannes Lehmann
    • , Jeffrey C. Milder
    • , Shahid Naeem
    • , Generose Nziguheba
    • , Cheryl A. Palm
    • , Prabhu L. Pingali
    • , John P. Reganold
    • , Daniel D. Richter
    • , Sara J. Scherr
    • , Jason Sircely
    • , Clare Sullivan
    • , Thomas P. Tomich
    •  & Pedro A. Sanchez
  • Opinion |

    Unjustified and impractical legal requirements are stopping genetically engineered crops from saving millions from starvation and malnutrition, says Ingo Potrykus.

    • Ingo Potrykus
  • Opinion |

    A change in institutional culture is needed to promote responsible scientific behaviour and prevent misconduct. That's unlikely to happen unless money is involved, say Sandra Titus and Xavier Bosch.

    • Sandra Titus
    •  & Xavier Bosch
  • Opinion |

    A new survey shows that informal intervention can often avert much irresponsible scientific behaviour, and is not as risky as people might fear, say Gerald Koocher and Patricia Keith-Spiegel.

    • Gerald P. Koocher
    •  & Patricia Keith-Spiegel
  • Opinion |

    The US government must make the Department of Defense a key customer for energy technologies and make greenhouse-gas reductions a public good, say John Alic, Daniel Sarewitz, Charles Weiss and William Bonvillian.

    • John Alic
    • , Daniel Sarewitz
    • , Charles Weiss
    •  & William Bonvillian
  • Opinion |

    The value of ecosystems is largely invisible to markets. Ricardo Bayon and Michael Jenkins call on governments to drive regulatory and voluntary economic instruments that put a price on the services that nature provides.

    • Ricardo Bayon
    •  & Michael Jenkins
  • Opinion |

    Fifty years after setting foot in Gombe, Jane Goodall calls for urgent action to save our closest living relatives from extinction in the wild. Conservationists and local people must collaborate, she and Lilian Pintea conclude.

    • Jane Goodall
    •  & Lilian Pintea
  • Opinion |

    Researchers and regulators need to keep up with the changing risks, and share information, says Arne Jernelöv, as tanker spills decline and pipeline leaks and blowouts become more of a concern.

    • Arne Jernelöv
  • Opinion |

    Lessons on the risks and opportunities of climate change should be directed at future executives, given that many companies rival nations in greenhouse-gas emissions, says Genevieve Patenaude.

    • Genevieve Patenaude
  • Opinion |

    To understand human psychology, behavioural scientists must stop doing most of their experiments on Westerners, argue Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine and Ara Norenzayan.

    • Joseph Henrich
    • , Steven J. Heine
    •  & Ara Norenzayan
  • Opinion |

    More than 10,500 industrial and academic scientists worldwide completed Nature's salary and satisfaction survey, published in this issue (see page 1104). Here, five career experts comment on the results of the poll. Differences in benefits, mentoring and contentment could have national and international ramifications, they conclude.

  • Opinion |

    Endemic Chagas disease began as a neglected disease of poor, rural and forgotten populations. Its spread from Latin America to non-endemic countries is a new worldwide challenge, say José Rodrigues Coura and Pedro Albajar Viñas.

    • José Rodrigues Coura
    •  & Pedro Albajar Viñas
  • Opinion |

    As the UK Royal Society prepares for a festival celebrating its 350th year, Yves Quéré urges all scientific academies to welcome women and young scientists and to take part in public and political discourse.

    • Yves Quéré
  • Opinion |

    Since the invention of the science citation index in the 1960s, quantitative measuring of the performance of researchers has become ever more prevalent, controversial and influential. Six commentators tell Nature what changes might ensure that individuals are assessed more fairly.

  • Opinion |

    Gender inequalities in biomedical research are undermining patient care. In the first of three related pieces, Alison M. Kim, Candace M. Tingen and Teresa K. Woodruff call on journals, funding agencies and researchers to give women parity with men, in studies and in the clinic.

    • Alison M. Kim
    • , Candace M. Tingen
    •  & Teresa K. Woodruff
  • Opinion |

    Clinical trials routinely exclude expectant mothers. This is unethical and unscientific, and regulators must mandate change, says Françoise Baylis, in the second of three related pieces on gender bias in biomedicine.

    • Françoise Baylis
  • Opinion |

    As climate scientists battle climate sceptics, they should note that we have been here before, say Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. History holds lessons for how researchers can get their message across.

    • Naomi Oreskes
    •  & Erik M. Conway
  • Opinion |

    Many researchers avoid using female animals. Stringent measures should consign this prejudice to the past, argue Irving Zucker and Annaliese Beery, in the third piece of three on gender bias in biomedicine.

    • Irving Zucker
    •  & Annaliese K. Beery
  • Opinion |

    Plumes of dissolved gas could be used to determine how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, says David Valentine — if the studies are done soon.

    • David Valentine
  • Opinion |

    Nature asked eight synthetic-biology experts about the implications for science and society of the “synthetic cell” made by the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). The institute's team assembled, modified and implanted a synthesized genome into a DNA-free bacterial shell to make a self-replicating Mycoplasma mycoides.

  • Opinion |

    Two years ago Raphael D. Sagarin and colleagues proposed that security systems should learn from nature. Now they've worked with defence professionals on putting that call into practice.

    • Raphael D. Sagarin
    • , Candace S. Alcorta
    • , Scott Atran
    • , Daniel T. Blumstein
    • , Gregory P. Dietl
    • , Michael E. Hochberg
    • , Dominic D. P. Johnson
    • , Simon Levin
    • , Elizabeth M. P. Madin
    • , Joshua S. Madin
    • , Elizabeth M. Prescott
    • , Richard Sosis
    • , Terence Taylor
    • , John Tooby
    •  & Geerat J. Vermeij
  • Opinion |

    An advisory group and a network of international labs is needed to lay the groundwork for multilateral disarmament and forge links between nations, say Martin Rees, Ben Koppelman and Neil Davison.

    • Martin Rees
    • , Ben Koppelman
    •  & Neil Davison
  • Opinion |

    Klaus Stöhr of Novartis argues that pre-pandemic immunization with a cocktail of likely strains could be a cheap, practical and equitable way to protect people against influenza.

    • Klaus Stöhr
  • Opinion |

    The climate community must work together to create a single, clean, comprehensive and open repository of detailed temperature data, say Peter A. Stott and Peter W. Thorne.

    • Peter A. Stott
    •  & Peter W. Thorne
  • Opinion |

    Jonathan Shanklin, one of the team who discovered the thinning ozone layer over the Antarctic 25 years ago, reflects on lessons learned from a tale of luck, public perception and fast environmental change.

    • Jonathan Shanklin
  • Opinion |

    The tightening of the US science budgets could improve both teaching and research, argues Diane Auer Jones — by forcing academics and their institutions to play to their strengths.

    • Diane Auer Jones
  • Opinion |

    As tree habitats shift towards the poles in response to climate change, we must study the neglected, trailing edges of forests, warns Csaba Mátyás — they are economically and ecologically important.

    • Csaba Mátyás
  • Opinion |

    Dorothy Hodgkin was born 100 years ago next month. Her biographer, Georgina Ferry, reflects on the factors that propelled the Nobel-prizewinning crystallographer to greatness.

    • Georgina Ferry
  • Opinion |

    Current national emissions targets can't limit global warming to 2 °C, calculate Joeri Rogelj, Malte Meinshausen and colleagues — they might even lock the world into exceeding 3 °C warming.

    • Joeri Rogelj
    • , Julia Nabel
    • , Claudine Chen
    • , William Hare
    • , Kathleen Markmann
    • , Malte Meinshausen
    • , Michiel Schaeffer
    • , Kirsten Macey
    •  & Niklas Höhne
  • Opinion |

    Twenty years on from the first pregnancies after preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Alan Handyside argues that informed prospective parents are largely good guides to the use of the thriving technology.

    • Alan Handyside
  • Opinion |

    China and South Korea have invested heavily in environmental stimulus projects. Other G20 countries need to deliver on their sustainability promises to save both the planet and the economy, says Edward Barbier.

    • Edward Barbier
  • Opinion |

    Looking back over the past decade of human genomics, Francis Collins finds five key lessons for the future of personalized medicine — for technology, policy, partnerships and pharmacogenomics.

    • Francis Collins
  • Opinion |

    Genomic data will soon become a commodity; the next challenge — linking human genetic variation with physiology and disease — will be as great as the one genomicists faced a decade ago, says J. Craig Venter.

    • J. Craig Venter
  • Opinion |

    There is little to show for all the time and money invested in genomic studies of cancer, says Robert Weinberg — and the approach is undermining tried-and-tested ways of doing, and of building, science. This Opinion piece is part of a linked pair; see also Counterpoint: Data First by Todd Golub.

    • Robert Weinberg
  • Opinion |

    Large, unbiased genomic surveys are taking cancer therapeutics in directions that could never have been predicted by traditional molecular biology, says Todd Golub. This Opinion piece is part of a linked pair; see also Point: Hypothesis First by Robert Weinberg.

    • Todd Golub
  • Opinion |

    Emotions such as empathy and disgust might be at the root of morality, but psychologists should also study the roles of deliberation and debate in how our opinions shift over time, argues Paul Bloom.

    • Paul Bloom
  • Opinion |

    To capture the essence of good science, stakeholders must combine forces to create an open, sound and consistent system for measuring all the activities that make up academic productivity, says Julia Lane.

    • Julia Lane
  • Opinion |

    The US Congress should create an office to study, standardize and certify those who apply science to crime as well as the techniques they use, urge Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck.

    • Peter Neufeld
    •  & Barry Scheck
  • Opinion |

    Translational-research programmes supported by flexible, long-term, large-scale grants are needed to turn advances in basic science into successful vaccines to halt the AIDS epidemic, says Wayne C. Koff.

    • Wayne C. Koff
  • Opinion |

    The US Congress should discourage efforts to advance the technology to make fuel for nuclear reactors, say Francis Slakey and Linda R. Cohen — the risks outweigh the benefits.

    • Francis Slakey
    •  & Linda R. Cohen
  • Opinion |

    After five years, the World Health Organization's tobacco-control treaty is starting to have an effect, but we need to tackle the smoking epidemic in the developing world, say Jonathan M. Samet and Heather L. Wipfli.

    • Jonathan M. Samet
    •  & Heather L. Wipfli