A collection of rare beer cans

An Archeologist’s Guide to Beer Cans

Here's how to figure out how long it's been since someone left their empties around, only to be dug up later.
a caricature of three women whose depicted clothing satirizes the beginnings of neo-classical fashion influences in England.

Why Are So Many Romances Set in the Regency Period?

The British Regency era lasted less than a decade, but it spawned a staggering number of unlikely fictional marriages.
Vintage engraving of an old fisherman drinking a cup of tea, 1900

What’s the Difference between a Shanty and a Sea Song?

“Soon May the Wellerman Come” is the heart of ShantyTok—but it’s not a sea shanty at all. Two authoritative essays roil the waters.
An illustration of a man sneezing

You Don’t Get Colds from Being Cold

On the persistence of a folk belief.
Actress Dorothy Tutin having an anti-flu injection, 1969

How Scientists Tried to Find a Universal Flu Vaccine

The quest to “conquer” influenza with a shot that could be used every year started out with high hopes, and ended up a hot mess.
Richard P. Strong

The Deadly Bilibid Prison Vaccine Trials

In 1906, physician Richard Strong's already-unethical vaccine experiment went horribly wrong. Then it was swept under the rug.
Atlantic horseshoe crab (Polyphemus occidentalis) illustration from Zoology of New york (1842 - 1844) by James Ellsworth De Kay (1792-1851).

The Horseshoe Crab: Same as It Ever Was?

The seemingly static appearance of these ancient-looking arthropods presents a challenge for scientists who want to study their evolutionary history.
Babies from the City Maternity Hospital being held by the nurses and doctors who had delivered them.

How Scientists Became Advocates for Birth Control

The fight to gain scientists' support for the birth control movement proved a turning point in contraceptive science—and led to a research revolution.
Execution of Louis XVI, 1793

The Decapitation Experiments of Jean César Legallois

This French scientist conducted a series of gruesome experiments in his quest to discover the true limits of life and death.
A grizzly bear c. 1955

The Scientist Who Wanted Grizzly Bears Eliminated

In the late 1960s, two highly visible deaths from grizzly bear attacks led to a debate about whether humans and bears could coexist.