Skip to content
1932

Q&A

The invention of incarceration

Prisons have been controversial since their beginnings in the late 1700s — why do they keep failing to live up to expectations?

To learn Klingon or Esperanto: What invented languages can teach us

NuqneH! Saluton! A linguistic anthropologist (and creator of the Kryptonian language, among others) studies the people who invent new tongues.

How to handle climate anxiety

Worry over the planet’s future is taking a toll on emotional well-being, researchers say. Here’s how to cope so we don’t lose hope for our planet and for ourselves.

Salmonella: Why it’s a chicken and egg thing

Eliminating this food-poisoning bacterium from poultry is tricky — not least because rapid, precise tests are still unavailable. Researchers are looking at vaccines, probiotics, prebiotics and even essential oils as ways to reduce contamination on the farm.

To understand airborne transmission of disease, follow the flow

Viruses and bacteria travel in fluids, such as the air we breathe. Studying exhalations, toilet flushes and rain drops, with math and modeling, can sharpen the big-picture view of how to prevent infections.

Can statistics help crack the mysterious Voynich manuscript?

The meaning of the cryptic text has eluded scholars for centuries. Their latest efforts include computational analyses seeking new insights into the medieval enigma.

Studying poverty through a child’s eyes

Research on early-life adversity should pay more attention to the perspective of children themselves

The story of families, wrested from big data

Records tell the story of the decline of the patriarchy, the rise and fall of marrying young, and pandemic fallout; digitizing the data could reveal even richer tales

A galactic archaeologist digs into the Milky Way’s history

Astrophysicists now have the data and models to uncover subtle imprints from our galaxy’s past

Emotions get better with age

As people grow older, they gain greater control of their feelings. How do they do that — and can they teach young whippersnappers a thing or two?

A healthy environment as a human right

UN recognition would strengthen legal arguments for preserving nature

The weird biology of asexual lizards

Some lizard species do without males altogether. Scientists are studying these all-female species to see what they might reveal about the pros and cons of sex.

How health insurance is faring under Covid

Millions of Americans lost employer-sponsored coverage when Covid-19 disrupted their jobs. Can America come up with a better system?

Battling arsenic pollution

Arsenic-poisoned water remains a threat to public health the world over. Scientists hope to change that.

Kids of the Covid generation: The road ahead

What will become of children growing up during the pandemic? There’s reason for concern, but the research on resilience is reassuring. A developmental psychologist explains what adults can do to protect youngsters from long-term harm.

American individualism and our collective crisis

Our national and social identity is deeply rooted in values like freedom, equality and order. A political scientist explores how these ideas affected the US response to the pandemic.

Pandemic puts all eyes on public health

Covid-19 has exposed the weak spots of the US public health system — and that presents an opportunity, says an epidemiologist, for the nation to recognize the problems and act to fix them

How the pandemic could globalize the economy even more — not less

Closed borders, trade conflicts and supply-chain problems raise the specter of nations turning inward and disconnecting from one another. But Princeton’s Harold James thinks Covid-19 may well push us all closer.

Fact or fantasy? Tales from the linguistic fringe

Paranormal claims and other pseudoscience often bedevil the study of language

What legacy lies ahead for Black Lives Matter?

Historically, the road to reform has often begun with protesters taking to the streets. A sociologist and a political scientist take stock of whether today’s activism will lead to actual change.

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error