The personal care industry goes pro-germ (Bloomberg)
by Caroline Winter
Some companies that have spent decades promising customers that they can destroy microbes are now rolling out products designed to intentionally harbor bacteria. The shift holds promise for healthier skin and beyond—and it’s the result of some weird self-experimentation.
Branding, charisma, and belonging at NXIVM (The Cut)
by Katie Heaney
How did so many talented and successful people get drawn into the NXIVM organization? A sociologist explains that the cult put people’s ordinary impulses into a new context where they led to very different outcomes.
Confronting the traumatic legacy of Alaskan whaling (Pacific Standard)
by Kiliii Yüyan
The nineteenth-century commercial whaling industry brought transformation and cultural genocide to Northern Alaska. That legacy still affects the mental health of people there today, leading to high suicide rates. New cooperative programs are trying to restore balance.
When women run for president (Vox)
by Ezra Klein
Why is it that so many of the women in the race for the Democratic 2020 nomination are seen as unelectable? A philosopher looks at what misogyny has to do with politics.
What parents do to segregate classes (The Atlantic)
by Whitney Pirtle
Even within racially integrated schools, black and white children often don’t sit in the same classes. That has to do with many racist policies and assumptions, in schools and beyond. It also has to do with choices made by well-meaning, privileged, white parents.
Got a hot tip about a well-researched story that belongs on this list? Email us here.