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.

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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Has Culture Replaced Natural Selection?

Scott Solomon— In today’s world, it’s easy to imagine that the evolutionary forces that gave rise to our species are no longer at work. Nature may be “red in tooth and claw,” as Tennyson observed, but the callous forces of nature seem hardly to affect us when we live in

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How Small Farms Continue to Struggle in the Organic Food Industry

Connor J. Fitzmaurice & Brian J. Gareau— It’s fall in New England, and in the region’s many farmers’ markets, mountains of corn and heirloom tomatoes have given way to bountiful displays of pumpkins, apples, cabbages, cranberries, and leafy greens. It’s a relief for many. This summer’s harvest was a lean

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Why Preservation Should Matter

Max Page— In our “sour little age,” as playwright Tony Kushner once called the world we live in, lines from a law passed fifty years ago this weekend offer welcome uplift.  “The spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage,” declared the National

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Africa and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Carl Death— The Paris Agreement on climate change is set to enter into force on November 4, 2016, after its ratification by more than fifty-five countries representing over 55% of total greenhouse gas emissions in early October 2016. This was hailed by US President Barack Obama as “a historic day

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