Mars

Great Scientific Discoveries That Weren’t

Dinosaur DNA! Life on Mars! In the world of science, amazing discoveries don’t quite work out the way the discoverer hopes they will.
Sir Humphry Davy

When Scientists Perform Experiments on Themselves

More than one self-experiment has resulted in a Nobel Prize. Against all odds, and sometimes in spite of the damage they cause, these crazy gambits pay off.
NSF early star rendering

The Earliest Stars

Astronomers who noticed a slight blip in space's background radiation got an insight not just into the early stars but into the age and nature of the early universe.
Stephen Hawking RIP

Remembering Stephen Hawking and Future Science

An original essay about the science of the future by the late theoretical physicist.
Mount Everest North Face Tibet

How to Measure a Mountain

It’s not easy to measure a mountain. Mount Everest's height has been known since the middle of the nineteenth century, but how did they figure it out with no altimeters or GPS?
dark side of the moon

What Awaits on the Dark Side of the Moon?

An unmanned Chinese probe will be exploring the moon's far side in 2018. The side that faces away from the earth differs significantly from the familiar face of the moon. So why are the two sides so different?
dna illustration

A Primer on e-DNA

eDNA is DNA that an animal sloughs off into its environment through feces, shedding, or lost skin. The technology can detect invasive species.
First sentence

Female Inventive Talent

Brief commentary on one line from JSTOR: An unsigned editorial from an 1870s issue of Scientific American suggests that women can be great inventors, too.
Neutron star collision

A Primer on Neutron Stars

In the far off constellation of Hydra; two neutron stars collided, producing vast clouds of gold and other heavy elements. What's a neutron star anyway?
Cat playing Peek a Boo in a box

The Ig Nobels: The Lighter Side of Scientific Research

What exactly are the Ig Nobels? And what can we learn from the Journal of Irreproducible Results and the Annals of Improbable Results?