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  • How We Teach Science: What's Changed and Why It Matters
    John L. Rudolph


    Past efforts to reshape American science education offer lessons for future reformers

    Compared with reading, writing, and arithmetic, science is a relative newcomer to the primary and secondary school curriculum, emerging only in the late 19th century. Nevertheless, proponents of the subject have established it as central to what an educated person needs to know, not least because of the promise of good jobs in scientific fields. Read More
  • The Spectacle of Illusion: Deception, Magic and the Paranormal
    Matthew L. Tompkins


    Magic and mysticism reveal cognitive shortcuts with implications beyond entertainment

    Published to coincide with the Wellcome Collection’s exhibition “Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic,” The Spectacle of Illusion is a delightful and informative roller coaster that explores our fascination with magic, the paranormal, and the psychology of cognitive illusions. Author Matt Tompkins—who is both a psychologist and a magician—makes a detailed analysis of magicians… Read More
  • Collection

    The scientist’s summer reading list

    How will we eat in a warming world? What makes money real? Are we being good ancestors? From a graphic celebration of the semicentennial of the Apollo 11 mission to a dystopian foray into the digital afterlife, this year’s summer reading picks—reviewed by an enthusiastic group of early-career scholars—aim to unpack where we came from… Read More
  • The Creativity Code: Art and Innovation in the Age of AI
    Marcus du Sautoy


    PODCAST: Q&A with Marcus du Sautoy, author of The Creativity Code

    When asked about the origins of an evocative piece of music, a composer is likely to focus on structure and pattern, asserts mathematician Marcus du Sautoy. So why not enlist the help of an algorithm? This week on the Science podcast, du Sautoy explores the concept of creativity, comparing human and artificial intelligence to reveal… Read More
  • The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Math Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets
    Graham Farmelo


    No longer seen as a simple tool, today’s math is a font for new ideas in theoretical physics

    When Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection, he used only words—no mathematics. The same was true of Alfred Wegener’s first description of his theory of continental drift. Even Dmitri Mendeleev’s first publication of the periodic table used no mathematics, merely a simple numbering system for the chemical elements. In physics, by… Read More
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters
    Michael Dogherty, director


    Godzilla’s extraordinary growth over time mirrors an increase in Anthropocene angst

    It would be a mistake to dismiss Godzilla: King of the Monsters as mindless pap or escapist fantasy. It is the 35th film in a series stretching to 1954, easily the longest in world cinema history. This fact alone invites scholarly attention, for icons are always a reflection of their times, and few have enjoyed… Read More
  • The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record
    Jonathan Scott


    A music writer revisits NASA’s disco-era message to aliens

    Jonathan Scott likes weird records with distinct formats: playable postage stamps and golden disks billions of miles from Earth carrying disco-era messages for extraterrestrials, to name a couple. The Vinyl Frontier is his breezy take on the creation of the latter. The story of the phonograph records strapped to the two Voyager spacecraft currently hurtling… Read More
  • Book

    Rediscovering the joy of the journey in the age of turn-by-turn directions

    With the proliferation of GPS technology, studying how humans and other animals find their way using the Sun, stars, and landmarks may feel ancient and irrelevant. However, two recent books convincingly argue that such endeavors are well worth our time. In Supernavigators, David Barrie tells astounding tales of how various animals navigate the world and… Read More
  • The Mountain that Eats Men
    Ander Izagirre

    Book ,

    A journalist reveals the human cost of modern mining through the vivid story of a young Bolivian mine worker

    Alicia Quispe is preparing to go to work in the adobe hut she shares with her mother, Rosa, and sister, Evelyn. The hut, located on the outskirts of the Bolivian town of Potosí, has no windows, running water, or electricity. As she walks to the job site, she carries stones to throw at potential rapists… Read More
  • T. rex: The Ultimate Predator
    Mark Norell, curator


    Towering models, engaging interactives, and virtual reality bring the Tyrannosaurus rex to life

    Head down and jaws wide, drool running down its banana-sized teeth, the Tyrannosaurus rex is a nightmare incarnate. The unsettling eyes only add to the effect. Children are nudged forward by their parents to gaze at the king of the tyrant lizards. No museum seems complete without this Cretaceous celebrity. The new exhibition at the… Read More