Here's a rundown of some of the stories we've been following on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider:
ScienceInsider is closely following the data breach at a U.K. university, which led to the release of more than 1000 e-mails among prominent climate scientists. What are scientists saying about the leak, and what impact will it have on climate policy? Follow our coverage here.
Speaking of climate change, the White House announced today that President Obama will attend the Copenhagen climate talks and probably announce a U.S. commitment, contingent on congressional agreement, of a 17% cut in greenhouse gas emissions relative to 2005 by 2020. But the announcement could be undermined by just a few senators trying to scuttle the deal.
In one of the first signs that HIV prevention efforts have begun to make a dent on a global scale, new infections appears to have dropped by 17% over the past 8 years, according to a new report. "This is a sign that HIV prevention efforts are making a difference," said epidemiologist Paul De Lay, deputy executive director of UNAIDS. "However, we're still not moving fast enough to keep pace with this virus. We have yet to break the overall trajectory of the epidemic."
The concept of matching scientists and classroom teachers isn't new. But a neuroscientist turned Internet entrepreneur hopes to go national with the idea as part of a new effort by the Obama Administration to stimulate private-sector participation in improving math and science education. "We hope to become the eHarmony of science," quips Jack Hidary about the grass roots project, called National Lab Day.
For what may be the first time, fMRI scans of brain activity have been used as evidence in the sentencing phase of a murder trial. Defense lawyers for an Illinois man convicted of raping and killing a 10-year-old girl used the scans to argue that their client should be spared the death penalty because he has a brain disorder.