Two men wearing and advocating the use of flu masks in Paris during the Spanish flu epidemic, 1919

What’s the Difference between Pandemic, Epidemic, and Outbreak?

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. What exactly does that mean?
A cup of coffee with a red circle and a line struck through it

When Coffee Cargo Was Quarantined

In the 1800s, sick passengers weren’t blamed for disease epidemics—their baggage and cargo was.
A researcher works in a lab that is developing testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus in New Jersey

With the Coronavirus, Science Confronts Geopolitics

The containment of COVID-19 raises pressing questions related to the freedom of scientific information, civil liberties, and human rights, one scholar explains.
Pneumonia coronavirus

Are Viruses Alive? Define Life.

Scientists have different ideas about whether viruses are living beings. But they have solid advice on how to destroy them: wash up.
The cover page of Rebecca Lee Crumpler's book

The “Doctress” Was In: Rebecca Lee Crumpler

The first Black woman physician served communities in the South after the Civil War but was buried in an anonymous grave. That will likely change.
A baby lying in some blankets

The U.S. Birth Rate Keeps Declining

Four questions answered.
A 100 dollar banknote with medical mask.

The True Costs of Managing Pandemics

The fear of the next global virus isn't just media indulging in catastrophizing; it's a collective concern for global economic and political health.
An early 20th century drawing of different foods

A Brief History of the Calorie

The measure of thermal energy expended by exercise was adapted from the study of explosives and engines.
CamelBak brand water bottles hang on display at an outdoor supply store

How Safe Is BPA-Free Plastic?

With BPA gone from many plastic products, researchers are concerned about other environmental chemicals, which might cause reproductive harm.
A woman carries a baby wearing a protective mask as they exit the arrival hall at Hong Kong High Speed Rail Station on January 29, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.

The Law and Coronavirus

Can environmental law help contain viruses that spill over from animal to human populations?