Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

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Should Scientists Promote Results Over Process?

Oct 24, 2012
Originally published on April 8, 2013 11:46 am

Consider: two scientists are asked whether there's any doubt that humans are responsible for climate change. The first says, "It's a fact humans are causing climate change – there's no room for doubt." The second replies, "The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, but in science there's always room for doubt."

The first scientist is probably a more effective spokesperson for the scientific consensus. But the second scientist is providing a more accurate representation of how science works.

This example defines the tension at the boundary between the realms of science and public opinion.

Is the aim of scientific advocacy to compellingly communicate particular scientific ideas, or to instill a way of understanding the natural world? Should scientists defend science or model science?

Take the following claims for which we have strong scientific support: current agricultural practices are contributing to climate change; taking unnecessary antibiotics can accelerate the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria; and attending a high-quality preschool can have long-lasting benefits for a young child's learning and development. It matters whether people accept these claims because the information can influence how they eat, whether they follow their doctors' instructions and whether they support funding for early childhood education.

It's no wonder that scientists are eager to get certain messages across, and sometimes do so in a way that sacrifices scientific nuance for immediate persuasive force.

On the other hand, there's a lot to be said for effectively modeling science. Science is the most powerful tool we have for understanding the natural world. Its power stems from the very nuance that forceful slogans typically gloss over. Science is powerful because it is responsive to evidence – to the observed state of the world – and not to whims, wishes or faith. But with this power comes great liability: the potential to be wrong.

If this potential – and the uncertainty it entails – is a symptom of the very feature that makes science so reliable, then acknowledging uncertainty shouldn't undermine belief in scientific claims. If anything, it should have the opposite effect: modeling science should effectively defend science.

In a 2008 paper, Anna Thanukos, Michael Weisberg and I found evidence that this may be so: undergraduate students who understood that scientific theories are subject to ongoing testing and revision were more likely, not less likely, to accept evolution.

If you don't need to be a scientist for firm scientific beliefs to merrily coexist with scientific uncertainty, why the pressure to present science in overly-confident sound bites?

First, contemporary political discourse seems to equate an acknowledgment of the potential to be wrong with a lack of conviction. Imagine the fate of a political candidate who says, "I currently support school vouchers, but that endorsement could change in light of evidence concerning the impact of vouchers on students, families, schools, and communities."

In making this kind of talk taboo, we effectively support the opposite perspective: that an endorsement of school vouchers (for instance) should be insensitive to what we know or come to learn about their intended or unintended effects.

Second, some baseline understanding of science may be necessary for scientific uncertainty to corroborate rather than corrode belief in scientific claims.

In a 2012 paper, Anna Rabinovich and Thomas Morton found that people who saw science as an ongoing debate were more motivated to adopt environmentally-conscious behavior when messages about climate change acknowledged the existence of scientific uncertainty. For participants who saw uncertainty as "a sign of imperfect knowledge," messages that conveyed greater uncertainty were (nonsignificantly) less likely to motivate environmentally-conscious behavior. This suggests that, for many people, forceful statements of unwavering commitment are more effective calls to action.

Now let's consider the two scientists we started with as parents. The first says, "Never touch the oven; it's always hot." The second says, "Be careful around the oven; it's often hot." The first warning may be more successful when it comes to stopping a toddler in her tracks. But the second warning is more accurate and may have additional advantages. For example, it won't be rejected wholesale after an accidental brush with a cool oven, and it supports useful generalizations (e.g., when the oven needs to be cleaned, it's OK to touch if it's cool).

Overstating confidence in scientific claims may similarly miss a long-term benefit for a short-term advantage: rhetorical oomph comes at the cost of an opportunity to educate people about how science works and why the products of science are our most reliable guides to the natural world.

When your toddler is running toward a hot oven, you may be willing to sacrifice a teaching moment in a desperate effort to keep those little hands intact. When it comes to climate change, we're in a similar situation. Can we afford anything short of the most compelling calls to action? On the other hand, can we risk perpetuating ignorance about the values of science?


Guest blogger Tania Lombrozo is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. You can keep up with more of what Tania Lombrozo is thinking on Twitter: @TaniaLombrozo

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