People & Politics
Science in a world of rules, regulations, and war
A recent collection showcases the famous and not-so-famous women who have left their mark on the periodic table.
After transforming the periodic table should the promising young scientist have been allowed to fight in World War I?
The covert politics behind American efforts to establish scientific freedom around the world.
Rare earth elements make modern devices faster, brighter, and lighter, but it will take the creaky gears of government to make their production cleaner and more equitable.
The transfermium elements—the fleeting, lab-made substances that populate the end of the periodic table—have a history built on pride and acrimony.
In the 1930s a pride- and faith-fueled dispute between two Nobel Prize–winning physicists spilled onto the front page of the New York Times.
In the last years of World War II a group of American scientists and soldiers raced to capture enemy physicists, sabotage Hitler’s nuclear ambitions, and do it all before their Soviet allies were any the wiser.
As officials spread disinformation, a deadly epidemic edged its way into the United States.
Science writer Deborah Blum chronicles one chemist’s fight to bring order to a lawless food industry.
A lesson in humility begets a scientific revolution.
How did a Philadelphia chemist wind up a Soviet spy?
For centuries women have been looking at the stars despite earthly obstacles.
Why emphasizing intellectual achievement and scientific “genius” harms scientists with intellectual disabilities—and the rest of us.
When crime and politics influenced American baking habits.
What possibilities might we be ignoring when we unquestioningly privilege sight as the primary pathway to knowledge about the natural world?
One war made him the most powerful man in science; the war that followed took that power away.
Why the recent findings of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine are enlightening, even if they aren’t surprising.
After the Vietnam War a mysterious yellow substance rained down from the skies of Southeast Asia. Was it a chemical weapon or something stranger?