Social sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Social disconnection across socioeconomic lines is explained by both differences in exposure to people with high socioeconomic status and friending bias—the tendency for people to befriend peers with similar socioeconomic status even conditional on exposure.

    • Raj Chetty
    • , Matthew O. Jackson
    •  & Nils Wernerfelt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The difference between the number of men and women listed as authors on scientific papers and inventors on patents is at least partly attributable to unacknowledged contributions by women scientists.

    • Matthew B. Ross
    • , Britta M. Glennon
    •  & Julia I. Lane
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Two remarkably large sites in southwest Amazonia, belonging to the Casarabe culture, include complex civic-ceremonial architecture and large water-management infrastructure, representing a type of tropical low-density urbanism that has not previously been described in Amazonia.

    • Heiko Prümers
    • , Carla Jaimes Betancourt
    •  & Martin Schaich
  • Article |

    Replacing 20% of per-capita ruminant consumption with microbial protein can offset future increases in global pasture area, cut annual deforestation and related CO2 emissions in half, and lower methane emissions.

    • Florian Humpenöder
    • , Benjamin Leon Bodirsky
    •  & Alexander Popp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Ithaca—a deep neural network for textual restoration, geographical attribution and dating of ancient Greek inscriptions—collaboratively aids historians’ study of damaged texts.

    • Yannis Assael
    • , Thea Sommerschield
    •  & Nando de Freitas
  • Article |

    When people learn more about a stranger, they think a stranger knows more about them, and when tested in a field experiment, this shifted residents’ perceptions of police officers’ knowledge of illegal activity.

    • Anuj K. Shah
    •  & Michael LaForest
  • Article
    | Open Access

    DNA analysis of 6 individuals from eastern and south-central Africa spanning the past approximately 18,000 years, and of 28 previously published ancient individuals, provides genetic evidence supporting hypotheses of increasing regionalization at the end of the Pleistocene.

    • Mark Lipson
    • , Elizabeth A. Sawchuk
    •  & Mary E. Prendergast
  • Article |

    A global assessment shows that increases in the number of wet days and extreme daily rainfall adversely affect economic growth, particularly in high-income nations and via the services and manufacturing sectors.

    • Maximilian Kotz
    • , Anders Levermann
    •  & Leonie Wenz
  • Article |

    Disturbances in the radiocarbon record anchor a precisely dated archaeological stratigraphy of a medieval trading emporium in Denmark in time, revealing that the Viking expansion was associated with competition for trade routes rather than with raids.

    • Bente Philippsen
    • , Claus Feveile
    •  & Søren M. Sindbæk
  • Article |

    A massive field study whereby many different treatments are tested synchronously in one large sample using a common objectively measured outcome, termed a megastudy, was performed to examine the ability of interventions to increase gym attendance by American adults.

    • Katherine L. Milkman
    • , Dena Gromet
    •  & Angela L. Duckworth
  • Article |

    Data collected from crisis helplines during the COVID-19 pandemic show that pandemic-related issues replaced rather than exacerbated underlying anxieties, and demonstrate that helpline data are useful indicators of public mental health.

    • Marius Brülhart
    • , Valentin Klotzbücher
    •  & Stephanie K. Reich
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Principles from the field of fair division are used to develop selection algorithms for citizens’ assemblies that produce panels that are representative of the population while simultaneously selecting individuals with near-equal probabilities.

    • Bailey Flanigan
    • , Paul Gölz
    •  & Ariel D. Procaccia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Two randomized controlled trials demonstrate the ability of text-based behavioural ‘nudges’ to improve the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, especially when designed to make participants feel ownership over their vaccine dose.

    • Hengchen Dai
    • , Silvia Saccardo
    •  & Daniel M. Croymans
  • Article |

    To enable net-negative CO2 emissions, the repayment of previously accrued carbon debt by establishing the responsibility for the net removal of CO2 by carbon-emitting parties through carbon removal obligations is necessary.

    • Johannes Bednar
    • , Michael Obersteiner
    •  & Jim W. Hall
  • Perspective |

    This Perspective discusses the challenges for social science practices imposed by the ubiquity of algorithms and large-scale measurement and what should—and should not—be measured in societies pervaded by algorithms.

    • Claudia Wagner
    • , Markus Strohmaier
    •  & Tina Eliassi-Rad
  • Article |

    Observational and experimental studies of people seeking to improve objects, ideas or situations demonstrate that people default to searching for solutions that add new components rather than for solutions that remove existing components.

    • Gabrielle S. Adams
    • , Benjamin A. Converse
    •  & Leidy E. Klotz
  • Review Article |

    This Review proposes an interdisciplinary framework for researching climate–society interactions that focuses on the mechanisms through which climate change has influenced societies, and the uncertainties of discerning this influence across different spatiotemporal scales.

    • Dagomar Degroot
    • , Kevin Anchukaitis
    •  & Natale Zappia
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Analyses of a global database reveal that in many developing countries progress in learning remains limited despite increasing enrolment in primary and secondary education, and uncover links between human capital and economic development.

    • Noam Angrist
    • , Simeon Djankov
    •  & Harry A. Patrinos
  • Article |

    An analysis of the search behaviour of recruiters on a Swiss online recruitment platform shows that jobseekers from minority ethnic groups are less likely to be contacted by recruiters, and also provides evidence of gender-based discrimination.

    • Dominik Hangartner
    • , Daniel Kopp
    •  & Michael Siegenthaler
  • Article |

    Estimates of global total biomass (the mass of all living things) and anthopogenic mass (the mass embedded in inanimate objects made by humans) over time show that we are roughly at the timepoint when anthropogenic mass exceeds total biomass.

    • Emily Elhacham
    • , Liad Ben-Uri
    •  & Ron Milo
  • Article |

    A model shows that human mobility is organized within hierarchical containers that coincide with familiar scales and that a power-law distribution emerges when movements between different containers are combined.

    • Laura Alessandretti
    • , Ulf Aslak
    •  & Sune Lehmann
  • Perspective |

    The authors review how the presence of organized crime in the fisheries sector hinders progress towards the development of a sustainable ocean economy and highlight practical opportunities to address this problem at both the local and the global level.

    • Emma Witbooi
    • , Kamal-Deen Ali
    •  & Omar Salas
  • Article |

    An epidemiological model that integrates fine-grained mobility networks illuminates mobility-related mechanisms that contribute to higher infection rates among disadvantaged socioeconomic and racial groups, and finds that restricting maximum occupancy at locations is especially effective for curbing infections.

    • Serina Chang
    • , Emma Pierson
    •  & Jure Leskovec
  • Article |

    Analyses of COVID-19 infection rates show that non-pharmaceutical interventions achieved large, beneficial and measurable health outcomes in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States; these results may inform decisions on whether or when these interventions should be deployed, intensified or lifted.

    • Solomon Hsiang
    • , Daniel Allen
    •  & Tiffany Wu
  • Article |

    The results obtained by seventy different teams analysing the same functional magnetic resonance imaging dataset show substantial variation, highlighting the influence of analytical choices and the importance of sharing workflows publicly and performing multiple analyses.

    • Rotem Botvinik-Nezer
    • , Felix Holzmeister
    •  & Tom Schonberg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Great progress toward the education-related SDG targets has been made; however, global estimates of within-country distributions of education reveal gender disparities and high levels of total inequality in many parts of the world.

    • Joseph Friedman
    • , Hunter York
    •  & Emmanuela Gakidou