When cities were Nature’s haven: a tale from Bangalore

We tend to think that nature and cities are polar opposites. Yet this is not true. As my research on Bangalore or Bengaluru – India’s IT hub – shows, for centuries, the population of this region grew because of nature,…

Kyrgyzstan: migrant women workers and a ‘lost generation’ of children

Dilya-eje, a secondary school teacher in the border village of Samarkandek, Kyrgyzstan, often visits the houses of her neighbourhood to record the children who should attend school the next year. She always indicates the status of their parents in her…
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China’s green planning for the world starts with infrastructure

The United States is retreating from the global community under a president who rejected the Paris Climate Accords and denigrates NAFTA and NATO. This provides an opportunity for China to play a greater role in global affairs. This provides the…
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Peace makes strides in Colombia, but the battle is far from won

One year after Colombians initially rejected a peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla group, today the outlook for peace seems almost promising. On Oct. 10, the country’s constitutional court shielded that accord from any changes for a period of 12…
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1977–2017: A Retrospective

Forty years ago this day my family (and I with them) left the Soviet Union on our way to America. Our first stop was in Vienna, where, by a curious coincidence, I am today (visiting at the Complexity Science Hub).…
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Tackling climate change could bring North and South Korea closer and help stabilise the region

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 requires every country to make pledges to tackle climate change. North Korea is no exception. Given that air pollution doesn’t recognise borders, there are already several emissions-reduction projects underway that will require cooperation between…
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Design global, manufacture local: a new industrial revolution?

What if globally designed products could radically change how we work, produce and consume? Several examples across continents show the way we are producing and consuming goods could be improved by relying on globally shared digital resources, such as design,…
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Fmr. Manager of DOD Aerospace Threat Program: “UFOs are Real”

Something extraordinary was revealed today. Former high-level officials and scientists with deep black experience who have always remained in the shadows came forward on one platform. These insiders have long-standing connections to government agencies which may have programs investigating unidentifed…
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A close-up look at what happens when tourists and Maasai communities meet

My study of interaction between tourists and a Maasai community raised questions about the boundaries between research, tourism and entertainment. For one thing, the local Maasai generally classify overseas visitors, whether researchers, NGO workers, businessmen or tourists, in the same…
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El flagelo del aborto ilegal en América Latina: ¿hay democracia sin derechos reproductivos?

Read in English. Tres cuartos de todos los abortos en América Latina se hacen de forma ilegal. Junto con África y Asia, esta región reune gran parte de los 17.1 millones abortos realizados de manera insegura cada año alrededor del…
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Dams on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy river could fuel more conflicts in the country

Myanmar makes many headlines these days. While most of the focus has been on the Rohingya issue, the country is also heading towards an important economic and livelihood crisis. Myanmar was once called “Asia’s rice bowl”, and that label stuck…
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Refugees in India have to fend for themselves – we’ve been talking to them about how they manage

Attempts by the Indian government to deport tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees have thrust the country’s laws into the spotlight. Lawyers representing the Rohingyas have reiterated the constitutional right (of citizens and non-citizens alike) to equality, life and personal…
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China’s fight against desertification should not be done at the cost of water security

For the first time, China has hosted a major global event on desertification and land degradation, the Cop-13, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The event took place in Ordos, in Inner Mongolia, a region known for its water-limited environments.…
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Russia sanctions costs the EU €30 billion

A new research shows the economic sanctions against Russia by the European Union have already cost the European countries around €30 billion. The research – which was carried out by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) – showed EU…
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Evolution and Devolution of Social Complexity: Why Do We Care?

What follows is my report on the workshop Evolution of Social Complexity that I organized at Complexity Science Hub-Vienna, October 2–3, 2017. An Agenda for Research on the Evolution (and Devolution) of Social Complexity Over the past 10,000 years human…
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The quest to revive extinct Aurochs to restore ancient lands

Rewilding and restoration of land often rely on the reintroduction of species. But what happens when what you want to reintroduce no longer exists? What if the animal in question is not only locally extinct, but gone for good? Yes,…
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The caste politics curse that India just can’t shake off

India is still not able to do away with its caste politics as demonstrated by recent attacks on members of lower caste in south-western state of Gujarat during a festival. Yet Narendra Modi’s ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is making…
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EU employment highest on record

Employment in the 28-nation European Union increased to the highest on record in the second quarter, the bloc’s executive arm has said. The number of people with jobs in the region increased 1.5% in the April through June period compared…
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Is Trump using ‘health attacks’ on US diplomats in Havana as an excuse to punish Cuba?

In a blow to diplomatic relations with Cuba, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Oct. 3 ejected 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States. The expulsion follows his withdrawal of most U.S. personnel from the embassy in Havana after…
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Agent Orange, exposed: How U.S. chemical warfare in Vietnam unleashed a slow-moving disaster

In the end, the military campaign was called Operation Ranch Hand, but it originally went by a more appropriately hellish appellation: Operation Hades. As part of this Vietnam War effort, from 1961 to 1971, the United States sprayed over 73…

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