By Amy Chan
Language is the medium through which humans primarily communicate with each other – it is the very skill that sets us apart from other animals. Whilst animals do have their own communication methods, the ability to communicate through language is by and far unique to humans – not only can we communicate messages to each other – we can do so in a variety of ways. Language allows us to form relationships between one and another, express emotions and understand each other. This brings us then to an important question about language – if language is such an essential element of communication, then does exposure to multiple languages lead to more effective communication skills? Whilst communication is common to all humans – effective communication is not – and exposure to a variety of languages may be key to developing better communication skills.
Editor's note: This article placed first in our inaugural Scientista DiscovHER science writing competition. Scientista would like to congratulate Amy Chan on her achievement and welcome her to our team of regular bloggers!
By Amy Chan
Paleo? Atkins? FODMAP diet? If those don’t take your fancy – then how about the Werewolf diet? Weight loss and diets seem to plague us no matter where we look. Google ads, Facebook pop ups, Twitter feeds – the topic of food and weight is never far from our lips…or perhaps our hips for that matter. Obesity struggle is a real and global one. The World Health Organisation reports a doubling in worldwide obesity since 1980, with 50% of people in the WHO European region overweight and another 23% of women and 20% of men obese. Recent research suggests that obesity may be deadlier than previously thought – with 18% of all deaths in the US accounted for by obesity (1). But the good news is, new fad diets seem to appear as fast as the obesity epidemic grows, infesting our social networks each time we refresh our feeds – and they’re all just a click away.
And indeed, it is tempting. With the abundance of food around us 24/7, and the ever-growing fast food industry, it is easy to look for a simple solution to a weighty problem. How great would it be to eat anything you wanted, anything at all, without having to worry about the extra pounds that might pile on. This calls for new measures beyond fad diets. Perhaps science is the answer. If science informs all our other choices – from car design to human relationships – then maybe we can apply science to food too?
Scientista DiscovHER is a blog dedicated to discovHERies made by women in science. Follow us for links to the latest resHERch!
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