A few good long reads for a long weekend

A varied selection of longer pieces from the news media for those interested in spending some Easter weekend time reading:

Disgrace: On Marc Hauser (The Nation): “Scientific misconduct is often difficult to detect. Although grant applications and research papers submitted to prestigious journals are rigorously reviewed, it is very difficult for a reviewer to uncover fabrication or falsification. … Sometimes fraud is detected by a careful examination of published papers revealing multiply published or doctored illustrations; more often it is uncovered by the perpetrator’s students or other members of his laboratory.

The Two-Year Window (The New Republic): “The new science of babies and brains—and how it could revolutionize the fight against poverty.”

African agriculture: Dirt poor (Nature): “African governments, international donors and scientists all agree that farmers must revitalize their soils. But there is passionate debate about how to do it. Many African governments and agricultural scientists argue that large doses of inorganic fertilizers are the most practical solution. But others, such the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, are pushing for greener, cheaper solutions, such as no-till farming that conserves soil and ‘fertilizer plants’ that boost the soil’s nitrogen content organically. Researchers report that these latter techniques are beginning to raise yields and improve soil fertility. But farmers are slow to adopt such practices, which require significantly more labour.”

The mistrial of LeBron James (ESPN The Magazine):” Ask most anyone who LeBron James is and you’re likely to get a blunt reply delivered with great conviction. Choker. God. Traitor. Hero. Arrogant. Generous. Undisciplined. Underappreciated. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is in disagreement. And over the course of this afternoon in Miami, they all will be proved right — and therefore all be proved wrong.

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