We all like to keep the peace when we’re with family or friends, but it may not be the best thing for the planet. Using data gleaned from a national panel of more than 1,200 US adults, Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and his colleagues found that talking about climate change “can generate a feedback loop where people who discuss global warming become more likely to learn influential facts such as the scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.” Such information from an especially trusted source can, over time, lead to “deeper engagement” with, and acceptance of, the reality of climate change. The research appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


There’s a pervasive notion in the US that Asian Americans are a high-achieving group that has largely closed the income gap with European Americans. But the data show it’s wrong. Michael Kraus, a Yale School of Management social psychologist, and his team conducted experiments to find out if people could overcome the stereotype. They found that, when reminded that Americans with Asian roots are not a monolithic group, participants were more accurate in their perceptions of Asian American wealth relative to white Americans. Cultivating this broader point of view may help the public and policy makers to better direct social safety-net programs and build more effective interracial coalitions. The study was published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.


For some patients, a drug can be a lifesaver; for others, it may be ineffective or harmful. Why people react so differently to identical medications has long been a mystery. Now, Yale microbiologist Andrew L. Goodman and fellow researchers have shown that some of the variability may be due to the different kinds and capabilities of bacteria in each person’s digestive tract. The scientists examined how 76 strains of human gut bacteria broke down 271 orally administered drugs. Their study in Nature noted that linking “interpersonal variability in microbiomes to interpersonal differences in drug metabolism” may allow doctors to alter a person’s gut bacteria enough to ease unwanted reactions to a drug.

The comment period has expired.