Science: Flood Risks In High Population Areas, Selfishness, Democracy

Satellite imaging has shown population increases are 10x higher in flood prone areas than previously thought, and a new way to introduce fairness into a democratic process.

In this episode:

00:47 Calculating how many people are at risk of floods.

Researchers have used satellite imagery to estimate the number of people living in flood-prone regions. They suggest that the percentage of people exposed to floods has increased 10 times more than previously thought, and with climate change that number is only set to climb.

Research Article: Tellman et al.

News and Views: The fraction of the global population at risk of floods is growing

09:41 Research Highlights

People are happy to be selfish towards a crowd, but generous to an individual; and how wildfire smoke affects clouds’ brightness.

Research Highlight: ‘Robber’ experiment tests generosity — with sobering results

Research Highlight: Wildfire smoke creates brighter clouds — and weather changes

12:01 Making democracy fairer

Citizens’ assemblies are small groups of people invited to come together to help inform and affect policy decisions. But deciding who is in these groups is a mathematical challenge — the process needs to be random, but still reflect social demographics. This week, researchers describe a new algorithm that could offer a solution.

Research article: Flanigan et al.

News and Views: A bridge across the democracy–expertise divide

20:04 Briefing Chat

We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how ships could spread a deadly coral disease, and research shows that female scientists are less likely to be cited in elite medical journals.

The Guardian: Deadly coral disease sweeping Caribbean linked to water from ships

Nature News: Fewer citations for female authors of medical research

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