Emily Vaughn

Office designers are scrambling now to try to get more members of the workforce safely back to their desks. Clear plastic sneeze guards have become familiar, as have floors taped off at 6-foot increments. But by 2025 or so, after the immediate threat of the coronavirus has likely passed, which short-term fixes will be part of the new normal? And what other design changes could be coming our way?

Diversity imparts strength and resilience. That's an underlying principle of evolution — and it's equally true of the group of people who study science. A wealth of research demonstrates that having diverse people involved in STEM fields produces better results.

Updated Feb. 19, 11:00 a.m. ET

A new disease first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and now called COVID-19, continues to spread, primarily in China but cases have also appeared in some two dozen other countries.

Here's what we know so far about this virus, as reported by NPR's daily science podcast Short Wave.

What kind of disease is this?

Sarah Edrie says she was about 33 when she started to occasionally get a sudden, hot, prickly feeling that radiated into her neck and face, leaving her flushed and breathless. "Sometimes I would sweat. And my heart would race," she says. The sensations subsided in a few moments and seemed to meet the criteria for a panic attack. But Edrie, who has no personal or family history of anxiety, was baffled.

An estimated 1.4 million adolescent girls and young women in the U.S. might have received an unnecessary pelvic exam between 2011 and 2017, according to a new study. And an estimated 1.6 million might have received an unnecessary Pap test.

As the decade changes and we consider the state of women's health in America, who better to turn to than the authors of five taboo-busting books from 2019 that took on issues that generations of women haven't been talking about, but need to. We asked these outspoken doctors and health advocates to give us their Top 7 messages to women for 2020. Here's what they said.

1. Better birth control is possible — and necessary

As a college student, Katy Milkman played tennis and loved going to the gym. But when she started graduate school, her exercise routine started to flunk.

"At the end of a long day of classes, I was exhausted," Milkman says. "Frankly, the last thing I wanted to do was drag myself to the gym. What I really wanted to do was watch TV or read Harry Potter."

On Jan. 1, 2019, more than 3 million women in India joined hands to form a 385-mile-long human wall of protest calling for equal rights for women.

They are among the many extraordinary women we have written about in Goats and Soda this year — women on the front lines of political and social change, women who sometimes quite literally put their life on the line to take a stand and to do their job.

Here are some of the women we've interviewed and written about in 2019.

Updated on Feb. 6, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. ET

"I don't think as a kid I ever saw a minority physician," says Russell J. Ledet.

This month saw the first arrest in Nepal connected to the practice of exiling women to sleep in a hut behind their home during menstruation.

Pages