Distillations Blog

The Distillations blog is the place for regular updates from the intersections of science, culture, and history.

Isaac Newton stamp
Book Club: Catching Criminals with Isaac Newton
September 28, 2018

Isaac Newton invented calculus, deciphered gravity, and authored two immortal scientific treatises. Did he also fight crime?

Plate No. 20 Poisonous Reptiles and Insects
What We’re Talking About
August 30, 2018

Science History Institute staff recommends articles and blog posts from around the web to add to your binge lists.

Helitrim trimming potentiometers on the moon
The Folly of the Martian Back-Up Plan
August 17, 2018

Why resources spent building a colony on the red planet would be a waste of money.

RHex marches up a dune in Pismo Beach, California, carrying a mechanical sensor that scrapes the dune’s surface to detect how much force is needed for the wind to pick up grains of sand.
Thinking on Your Feet—or with Them
June 08, 2018

Would you be able to walk, think, or react without a nervous system? University of Pennsylvania engineering student Sonia Roberts explores this question while building robots inspired by real animals.

Learning to Move with Move to Learn
April 21, 2017

University of Delaware researchers are using inexpensive, low-tech solutions to help infants with movement disorders.