The science and technology editors at The Atlantic magazine gathered together 83 of the most interesting facts that they had learned during 2018. I decided to show this list to my upper-intermediate and advanced ESL students and ask them to choose the five topics that they would most like to learn more about. A total of 18 students completed the task. Here are the topics chosen most often with the number of people who selected them in parentheses:
1. Some people think that quantum computing will bring about the end of free will. (5)
2. Don’t worry if you forget all the facts you read in this article by tomorrow—that’s normal. (5)
3. Thousands of horseshoe crabs are bled every year to create a miraculous medical product that keeps humans alive. (4)
4. Some people think tennis balls are green while others think they’re yellow, and the disagreement has a lot to do with how our brains perceive color. (4)
Seven topics received three votes, 14 received two votes, and 23 received one vote, meaning that 4 out of the 82 topics (one was deleted from the list) received at least one vote.