Visuals: Nature Magazine evolves

Nature Magazine is one of the world’s most important international weekly scientific journals. According to its website, it publishes “peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology on the basis of its originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness, accessibility, elegance and surprising conclusions.”

The first issue was published in 1869. Since then, the magazine has changed quite a bit. Have a look at the graph below and discuss with your teacher how the content has evolved over the past 150 years.


Visuals: The world gets better

The Conversation, a publication that promotes academic debate, posits that not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, but they actually think the opposite. This is no wonder, when the news focuses on reporting catastrophes, terrorist attacks, wars and famines. These subjects simply make for more exciting coverage than stories about how more than 300,000 people a day get access to electricity and clean water for the first time.

The Conversation states that globalization has helped lift hundreds of millions of people above the global poverty line.

Take a look at the three graphs below and discuss their meaning with your teacher.

How to overcome fears

We face many fears in our lives. People are afraid of all sorts of things: from seeing spiders to talking to other people. In fact, psychologists say that social fears are the most common. According to experts, 77% of people are afraid of public speaking. So why are social fears so widespread?

The psychoanalyst Alfred Adler wrote that when we were children, we felt helpless because we depended so much on our parents. And this fear of helplessness and powerlessness might stay with us forever.

While we are growing up, we are creating an image of ourselves. We hear what people say about us and we analyze that. But in many cases, we judge ourselves in the process. We focus on the judgement more than what we learned. In other words, we tend to remember negative things about ourselves rather than the positive.