Science

Why Israel’s Population Matters

Alon Tal— Some fifty years ago, environmentalists began to speak out about the grave environmental impacts of an exponentially growing population. These concerns resonated with large elements of the public, even as the implications flew in the face of some axiomatic assumptions about modern, Western society. Growing populations are associated

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Finding Solace in the Cosmos

David Bercovici— I was born in 1960, and by the time I decided I wanted to be a scientist at the young age of 12, the Vietnam War had been going on for my entire life. As far as any of us of that generation were concerned, the war had

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Vera Rubin and the Discovery of Dark Matter

James Owen Weatherall— When Vera Rubin was first invited to use the telescope at the Palomar Observatory, in the mountains outside San Diego, the form she was asked to fill out included the following notice: “Due to limited Facilities, it is not possible to accept application from women.” In pencil, someone

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Politics in the Age of Social Media

Emily Weinstein & Howard Gardner— While there was never a “golden age” of politics, journalism, or democracy, social media has permanently disrupted assumptions that were widely shared for much of the twentieth century. In that earlier era, political parties were strong; candidates for major offices were vetted by people who

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Surprises Springing from Trees

Fiona Stafford— At a secret location somewhere in the White Mountains of California is the world’s oldest individual tree. This ancient Great Basin bristlecone pine (pinus longaeva) has been growing there for more than 5,000 years, at least two centuries longer than its nearest rival, which is a mere 4,850,

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World AIDS Day: Remembering the Epidemic

Peter Selwyn— Thirty-five years ago, in the summer of 1981, the AIDS epidemic officially began. Thirty-five years can seem like a lifetime, and in many cases they were, in a sense, as young men and women died in their twenties and thirties from a disease that was relentless, devastating, and

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Podcast: The Science of Human Evolution

How have humans evolved and what drives this evolution? Evolutionary biologist Scott Solomon, author of Future Humans, discusses the science of human evolution. Listen in iTunes.

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Consumers and the Path to Safely-Produced Products

Paul David Blanc— There is a story of the nineteenth century Rabbi Zissel Ziv, the elder of Kelmė, a town in Lithuania then under the aegis of the Russian Empire. Kelm’s principal thoroughfare had been paved by prisoners sentenced to slave labor, far from a notable circumstance in that time and place.

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Mass Media and the Global Village

It’s University Press Week and the theme this year is communities. As part of the annual blog tour, we’re taking a look at mass media and its effect on communities and the global village as a whole. Carlo Ratti & Matthew Claudel— A new form of communication exploded into the early

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Knowing Through the Body

Guy Claxton— What are often called “higher mental processes” actually sit atop a whole lot of emotional and visceral goings-on. That is not a nuisance or a design fault; it is a deep part of our evolved nature as intelligent beings. To recap: at the core of our being there

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