Education for women: British Prime Minister Alexander de Pfeffle “Boris” Johnson calls for more education for women. With a journalist’s eye for a telling phrase, he sees it as the Swiss Army Knife in the fight against poverty. Ahead of his chairmanship of the G7, he has appointed MP Helen Grant as his special envoy. As something that LSS has been advocating since our inception, we think it’s a worthy initiative. And as a man who has risen to the top with the best education that money can buy (Eton, Balliol), he must know the value of it. Here’s the BBC:
Education for Doctors: History shows that nations which are quick on the early uptake of female education soon develop a competitive advantage, as this story from nineteenth-century America shows. Nature: How the Blackwells unleashed the Caged Force of Female Physicians. Feminists of all shades should click on this
A history of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree, and her sister Emily, a fellow physician, reveals the complex personalities who dared to kick down the door of the all-male US medical establishment. “The path for women in medicine was not created by an army of kind, like-minded people,” writes reviewer Hannah Wunsch, herself an intensive-care doctor and epidemiologist, “but by determined individuals, each with her own agenda.”Nature | 6 min read
Education for our electronic friends: Machines are now becoming so intelligent that we have to educate them, just like with trainee musicians who try too hard. Here’s one with intriguing implications from Nature; Machine learning cleans microscopy images
Algorithms to filter out the noise from micrographs are yielding stunning results. But the magic does have risks: biologists must take care not to lose or muddle valuable signal. The stronger the noise, the more likely it is that the results are ‘hallucinations’ dreamt by the computer. And the algorithm’s reasoning isn’t always transparent. A growing collection of tools allows researchers to find and compare multiple de-noising approaches and to contribute new ones.Nature | 8 min read
“Educate, educate, educate” said former British PM Tony Blair. We recognise it’s not everything. We know people who used their education to go on to make millions. We knew others with two degrees who went on to lead miserable, stunted lives. We know of at least two millionaires who never went near tertiary education, and obviously blossomed. But the point is statistical, not individual. A good education system is like a healthy ecology. It is the substrate in which economic progress thrives. To leave one half of the human race under educated (or with none at all) is a sure way to fall behind. As Johnson knows, no force is more potent against the dark forces of ignorance than female education.
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