Distillations magazine

Unexpected Stories from Science’s Past

People & Politics

Science in a world of rules, regulations, and war

People & Politics

Second Chances

Tattoos are more than decoration. But what do you do when the way you look no longer matches who you are?

People & Politics

Braving the Elements: Why Mendeleev Left Russian Soil for American Oil

The story behind a rare work by the father of the periodic table.

People & Politics

A History of Violence

A painting bears the mark of Nazi brutality but also speaks to our capacity for kindness and bravery.

People & Politics

Ladies Who Launch

Computers have always been central to NASA’s accomplishments: they just used to be women.

People & Politics

A Life in Science

The highs and lows of lab life.

People & Politics

Richard Nixon and the Rise of American Environmentalism

How a Republican president ushered in the EPA.

People & Politics

A Tear Gas Tale

How the chemical agent made the transition from wartime weapon to domestic police tool.

People & Politics

A Forgotten Star

A discovery by Indian scientist and statesman Meghnad Saha revealed the nature of stars.

People & Politics

Waging War on Immigration and Science

Remembering a Holocaust survivor, immigrant, and inventor.

People & Politics

Food Fight

Filippo Marinetti thought he could change Italian society through its collective belly.

People & Politics

Large and in Charge

Ernest Lawrence championed the idea of science done collectively. But he failed to champion his own scientists during the Red Scare.

People & Politics

Political Ills

Smallpox, polio, and the political and scientific haggling behind two medical triumphs.

People & Politics

Weather Service

Before these men became successful chemists they were World War II meteorologists.

Arts & Culture

Stranger Than Fiction

Is there any truth in truth serums?

Inventions & Discoveries

The French Connection

Inventor Charles Babbage drew inspiration from an unusual source for his analytical engine.

Inventions & Discoveries

Hard-Headed Man

The forgotten life of the scoundrel who created modern concrete.

People & Politics

A Brief History of Chemical War

For more than 2,000 years human ingenuity has turned natural and synthetic poisons into weapons of war.

People & Politics

Chemical Warfare: From the European Battlefield to the American Laboratory

In 1916 the United States sent its first official observer to the trenches of Europe, where he found a new kind of warfare.