The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit publisher of commentary and analysis, authored by academics and edited by journalists for the general public. On a mission “to promote truthful information and strengthen journalism by unlocking the rich diversity of academic research for audiences across America,” The Conversation publishes short articles by academics on timely topics related to their research. CU Boulder provides funding as a member of The Conversation U.S. Learn more about the partnership and how and why to write for The Conversation.


snow geese flying in Maryland

As bird flu continues to spread, what’s the risk of a human pandemic?

March 16, 2023

Avian influenza viruses have evolved to infect birds, but the current H5N1 outbreak is also infecting a wide range of mammals. This suggests it could mutate into forms that threaten humans. CU expert Sara Sawyer shares on The Conversation.

Sierra Nevada covered in snow

Why rain on snow in the California mountains worries scientists

March 14, 2023

Another atmospheric river is hitting the state, raising flood risks as rain falls on deep snowpack. Rain on snow is also a growing problem as the planet warms. CU expert Keith Musselman discusses on The Conversation.

Visitors file by the inscribed plaques on the outer circle of the Columbine Memorial at Clement Park. Credit: Glenn Asakawa

3 ways to prevent school shootings, based on research

March 6, 2023

Two sociologists from CU Boulder's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence discuss the circumstances that lead to violence in which an attacker picks a target—like a person, group, or school—in advance. They find that the same patterns of concerning behavior emerge, but that’s not all. Read more on The Conversation

Illustration of people walking down the street, all connected to the internet

How access to ChatGPT-style tech is about to change our world

March 3, 2023

New technologies are often surrounded by hopeful messages that they will alleviate poverty and bring about positive social change. History shows these assumptions are often misplaced. Three experts discuss in The Conversation podcast.

Screenshot of video footage of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols

How video evidence is presented in court can sway juror perception

Feb. 10, 2023

Video footage can play a crucial part in cases such as the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols. Depending on how the evidence is presented, among other factors, jurors can perceive events in a video in different ways. CU expert Sandra Ristovska explains on The Conversation.

A Chinese surveillance balloon in U.S. airspace before it was shot down by the U.S. military

Chinese spy balloon over the US: An aerospace expert explains

Feb. 6, 2023

The U.S. military shot down what officials have called a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Feb. 4, 2023. Professor Iain Boyd explains how such balloons work and what they can see. Read it on The Conversation.

Home on fire

Western wildfires destroyed 246% more homes, buildings over the past decade—scientists explain

Feb. 3, 2023

More homes are burning in wildfires in nearly every Western state. The reason? Humans. CU experts Jennifer Balch, Maxwell Cook and Natasha Stavros share on The Conversation.

People attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee

3 essential reads on police brutality, race and the power of video evidence

Jan. 30, 2023

The death of Tyre Nichols has triggered national outrage. Here are three must-read articles published by The Conversation over the past few years, one authored by CU Boulder Assistant Professor Sandra Ristovska examining interpretations of video evidence.

Artist's rendition of a prehistoric reptile and a giant bird called the Genyomis

How we cracked the mystery of Australia’s prehistoric giant eggs

Jan. 25, 2023

Researchers have solved a long-running detective story, finally confirming the identity of the extinct bird that laid eggs across Australia: the giant flightless bird called Genyornis. CU expert Gifford Miller and colleagues share insight on The Conversation.

Robots working at laptops in corporate office

AI and the future of work—what it means for artists and knowledge workers

Jan. 11, 2023

Now that artificial intelligence systems can generate realistic images and convincing prose, are creative and knowledge workers endangered or poised for productivity gains? CU experts say it’s not so clear-cut. Read more on The Conversation.