Society and Culture Blog Posts

How Green Are Electric Vehicle Subsidies?

April 02, 2021
Economist David Rapson says carbon tax, other strategies may offer better ways to address climate change — and wins over debate watchers to his point of view.

How to Illustrate a 9,000-Year-Old Female Hunter?

February 16, 2021
In a remarkable pairing of science and art, Randy Haas, assistant professor of anthropology, and Matt Verdolivo, senior artist at Academic Technology Services, or ATS, collaborated to produce illustrations showcasing new archaeological discoveries.

Podcast Debut Focuses on Conspiracy Theories

December 15, 2020
On the first episode of "The Backdrop," a UC Davis podcast exploring the world of ideas, historian Kathryn Olmsted discusses her work studying the history and impact of conspiracy theories on American society and politics. She also offers advice on how people can avoid falling prey to them.

'Women Also Know Stuff' Recognized Nationwide in Fight Against Political Science Gender Bias

October 29, 2020
When UC Davis political scientist Amber Boydstun co-founded the Women Also Know Stuff initiative in 2016, the idea went beyond amplifying the voices of her female colleagues around the world. A primary goal was to improve political science. In a major nod to the project’s success so far, the American Political Science Association recently awarded Boydstun and 11 colleagues a $25,000 grant to broaden the impact of its searchable online database of female political scientists.

Historians to Digitize Endangered Peruvian Archive

September 21, 2020
A new project led by UC Davis historian Charles Walker will digitize documents of the Peruvian Peasant Confederation (Confederación Campesina del Perú, or CCP) and make them accessible online.

Survey of California Filipinos Finds Health and Education Resources Lacking

June 08, 2020
Hundreds of Filipinos answering a UC Davis survey tell researchers that 40 percent of their homes have a health care worker living there and more than 95 percent say they had not been tested for the coronavirus. The project is being conducted by the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies in the Department of Asian American Studies.

Analysis: Trump Supporters Have Little Trust in Societal Institutions

February 24, 2020
Research by a UC Davis communication professor and colleagues finds that research shows that people who support President Donald Trump have lower trust in societal institutions, when compared with supporters of leading Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

Real Memory or Alternate Reality?

January 21, 2020
Aaron French, a doctoral student in religious studies, recently wrote a piece for The Conversation about "The Mandela Effect," the collective misremembering of common events or details, and a recent movie that gave the phenomenon widespread attention. He writes here about how the effect is connected to studies, research and writing.

Who Will Kamala Harris Supporters Vote for Now?

December 20, 2019
With California Sen. Kamala Harris out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, UC Davis communication professor Magdalena Wojcieszak and colleagues investigated who her supporters are likely to vote for.

What Gamers and Redditors Can Teach Us About Democracy

December 11, 2019
Despite the ongoing threat of misinformation spreading online, UC Davis cognitive scientist Seth Frey still believes in the promise of the internet as a force for political and economic empowerment. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Frey and colleagues at three other universities a $460,000 grant to study how groups create and enforce self-rule in a wide array of domains, including Frey’s focus: Reddit forums (called subreddits) and video games.

How Flu Vaccine Misinformation Spreads Online

December 10, 2019
Social media are a powerful tool to spread information — and misinformation — about health issues such as vaccines and cancer prevention. How does bad information spread online, and what is the best way to stop it? That is a topic being studied by Assistant Professor Jingwen Zhang and her students in the UC Davis Department of Communication.

How Groups Make Up Their Minds

December 10, 2019
The choices we make in large group settings, such as in online forums and social media, might seem fairly automatic. But our decision-making process is more complicated than we know. So, researchers at the University of Washington and UC Davis have been working to understand what’s behind that seemingly intuitive process. The research has discovered that in large groups of essentially anonymous members, people make choices based on a model of the “mind of the group” and an evolving simulation of how a choice will affect that theorized mind.

How Do You Bounce Back After a Setback?

December 10, 2019
Why are people often only fleetingly happy about positive events, but persistently upset about negative events like setbacks? Alison Ledgerwood, behavioral scientist, professor of psychology and chancellor’s fellow at UC Davis, has conducted extensive research to understand this.