Orchids in a Wardian Case

The Accidental Invention of Terrariums

Victorian London became obsessed with Ward's cases, which protected plants from the city's toxic pollution -- and piqued peoples' imaginations.
A cigarette butt in the sand.

The Environmental Cost of Cigarettes

Cigarette butts account for a huge amount of human-generated plastic pollution.
Photo by _HealthyMond . on Unsplash

Civil Rights and New Deal America, Bruno Latour, and Bad Environmentalism

New books and scholarship from University of North Carolina, Harvard University Press, and University of Minnesota Press.
A trail near Tampere, Finland.

How Forest Fires Work in Finland

Finland's forest fires aren't as destructive as California's. That has more to do with climate and population than with forest management.

DNA Forensics Can End Ivory Trafficking. Will Countries Play Along?

Scientists pinpoint poaching hotspots, but authorities aren’t always eager to join the fight.
Robots working on a production line.

Questions for the Age of Automation

Back in the 1960s, scholars were making predictions about what the Age of Automation would look like. Where they right?
Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest

Indigenous Reserves and the Future of the Amazon

Swathes of the Amazon rainforest are set aside for Indigenous peoples to manage. While they aren't conservation areas, they are important to the ecosystem.
A bandaged hand

People Who Can’t Feel Pain

While exceptionally rare, congenital analgesia, or a total insensitivity to pain, is a real condition that can be quite dangerous.
The Knightscope K5 Security Robot

Do Security Robots Signal the Death of Public Space?

A security robot targets the homeless, raising questions about whether private companies can expand their security detail to public spaces like sidewalks.
Cat Mummy

Why Ancient Egyptians Loved Cats So Much

Ancient Egyptians' love of cats developed from an appreciation to their rodent-catching skills to revering them as sacred creatures.