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April 13, 2021

Dear Reader,

As more and more Americans receive COVID-19 vaccines, people have begun discussing whether proof of this immunity, in the form of digital or paper “vaccine passports,” should be required for various activities, from indoor dining to travel. But this debate is missing the point, argues Steven W. Thrasher of Northwestern University in this week’s lead story. Instead of developing passports to allow vaccinated people into other countries, he says, the focus should be on bringing vaccine access across those borders.

Sophie Bushwick, Associate Editor, Technology
@sophiebushwick

Policy & Ethics

Global Vaccine Equity Is Much More Important Than 'Vaccine Passports'

We need to suppress the level of SARS-CoV-2 in as many humans as possible as quickly as possible

By Steven W. Thrasher

Climate

Biden Says Infrastructure Is the Pillar of His Climate Plan

Clean energy, electric vehicles, stopping methane leaks are all “part of infrastructure” and job creation

By Scott Waldman,E&E News

Space

The James Webb Space Telescope's First Year of Extraordinary Science Has Been Revealed

From more than 1,000 proposals, the scientists that hoped to perform the observatory’s historic first studies now know their fate

By Jonathan O'Callaghan

Natural Disasters

Pressure Builds on Congress to Help People Afford Pricey Flood Insurance

Premiums will rise in October, but 51 percent of homeowners in high-risk areas are low-income

By Thomas Frank,E&E News

Physics

Long-Awaited Muon Measurement Boosts Evidence for New Physics

Initial data from the Muon g-2 experiment have excited particle physicists searching for undiscovered subatomic particles and forces

By Daniel Garisto

Arts & Culture

Sweeping Whale Streaming Series, Profile of CRISPR Discoverer and an Examination of Future Realities

Recommendations from the editors of Scientific American

By Andrea Gawrylewski

Climate

Biden's Infrastructure Plan Would Make Electricity Carbon-Free by 2035

A clean energy standard for power plants is the linchpin, although details are thin

By Scott Waldman

Physics

Quantum Network Is Step Toward Ultrasecure Internet

The experiment connects three devices with entangled photons, demonstrating a key technique that could enable a future quantum Internet

By Davide Castelvecchi,Nature magazine
FROM THE STORE

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"Ultimately, [data scientist Sophie] Zhang argues that Facebook is too reluctant to punish powerful politicians, and that when it does act, the consequences are too lenient."

Julia Carrie Wong, the Guardian

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FROM THE ARCHIVE

How to Make 'Immunity Passports' More Ethical

Requirements that travelers be vaccinated must be implemented in a humanitarian way

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