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Suggested Readings: Weird Biodiversity, Virtual Reality Prescriptions, and the Meaning of “Get Out”


Well-researched stories from around the web that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. Brought to you each Tuesday from the editors of JSTOR Daily.

Protecting the weirdest creatures (The New Yorker)
by Michelle Nijhuis
When we talk about preserving biodiversity we’re often thinking of the total number of species in the world. But a wealth of new data is letting biologists consider different approaches, like protecting oddball creatures with unusual genetic makeups.

Can virtual reality block pain? (Pacific Standard)
by Tom Jacobs
What can we do to manage chronic pain in as opioids fall out of favor? A new study suggests a therapy that might help: a virtual reality visit to an engaging fantasy world.

Contextualizing “Get Out” (Public Books)
By Glenda R. Carpio, Irvin J. Hunt, and Namwali Serpell
What does it mean that one of this year’s most successful and critically acclaimed movies is a horror film in which the monster is racism? Three scholars look at how “Get Out” fits into the American understanding of race, comedy, and movie theater etiquette.

Big Pharma and daytime TV (Wired)
by Nick Stockton
We’ve gotten used to product placement as a method of advertising phones and sodas. But the practice looks different when the product is cancer drugs. What can doctors and ethicists tell us about a “disease awareness” collaboration between a pharmaceutical company and a soap opera?

Climate change will keep us up at night (New York Times)
by Justin Gillis
Climate change may cause natural disasters, crop failures, and refugee crises. A new study finds a subtler but pervasive potential problem: people living in hotter places won’t sleep as well.

Have you seen a story online that does a good job of bridging the gap between the news and scholarship? Or something that seems particularly well-researched? Let us know and we may include it in next week’s roundup. Email us at jstordaily_submissions (at) jstor (dot) org.

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