January 2013 | Volume 121 | Number 1
On the Cover | Focus
The demand for air conditioning is booming in developing countries and expected to grow even more in coming decades, ironically adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in the process of providing relief from the heat. Architects are responding with nature-inspired passive technologies that provide cooling with less climate impact.
Spheres of Influence
Back in 1988, Bernard Weiss, now professor emeritus at the University of Rochester Medical Center, calculated that if the mean IQ of a hypothetical population of 100 million people fell by 5 points, then the number scoring below 70—a threshold for requiring remedial assistance—would swell from 6 million to 9.4 million.Graphed on what’s known as a normal distribution in statistics, Weiss’ analysis revealed how a shift in the population mean—in this case for IQ but conceivably for other physical features such as weight, cholesterol levels, and attention span—can be particularly harmful to certain segments of society.