Cosmic rays, bilingual babies and the influence of nasty reader comments on the perception of science stories are just the tip of the research iceberg in Boston this week.
From Feb. 14 through 18, the city will be buzzing with thousands of scientists, teachers and journalists attending the 2013 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the non-profit society that publishes the prestigious journal Science.
In more than 150 sessions at the meeting, scientists will explore topics as varied as cosmic rays, human evolution, mysteries of dark matter, primate cognition and climate change and extreme weather like Superstorm Sandy. Already, researchers presenting at the meeting have announced that pharmaceuticals leaked into waterways can cause fish to act antisocial — a discovery with potentially major impacts for ecosystems. Another study from the meeting found that uncivil, troll-like comments on science articles make people view the technologies describe in those articles as less positive and more risky.
Other hot topics on this year's agenda include cancer, global food security and the adaptability of the human brain.
You can follow along with the meeting on Twitter using the hashtag #AAASmtg.