Enigma machine

Will Reading Romance Novels Make Artificial Intelligence More Human?

Google is feeding its natural language AI thousands of romance novels in an effort to humanize its “conversational tone.” Will this give it "humanness?"
Photograph: a woman applying facial cosmetic product.

What Beauty Product Trends Really Mean

American beauty products were once widely exported abroad and seen as representations of freedom and modernity.

How Francis Crick Almost Didn’t Make His Huge DNA Discovery

British physicist-turned-biologist Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA 100 years ago. Crick had a convoluted route to this important discovery.
Snøhetta expansion of the new SFMOMA, 2016; photo © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA

SFMOMA: The Brave New World of Art Museums

SFMOMA celebrated its 75th anniversary with a huge architectural expansion, only rivaled by its technological innovations.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before the House Judiciary Committee's Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee on Capitol Hill May 20, 2010 in Washington, DC.

How Supreme Court Nominations Became Political Battles

The battle to secure Supreme Court justices has a long and contentious history. 
President George W. Bush on first National Day of Prayer and Remembrance

Civil Religion

The US has created its own "civil religion," a complex body of ambiguous public assertions of faith that obscure the varied, private beliefs of the populace.
John Hope Franklin, who heads President Clinton's Commission on Race Relations, works with orchids in his backyard greenhouse, in Durham, N.C., on Aug. 25, 1997. (AP Photo/Grant Halverson)

Remembering Historian John Hope Franklin

Franklin helped to change the way we think about slavery and Reconstruction.

#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou: Hashtag Counterattacks to Racist Stereotypes

What do Americans visualize when they hear “Africa”? Can a hashtag change all of that? #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou
Landscape of Thorns

Will Art Save Our Descendants from Radioactive Waste?

What if the great threat to human life isn't a bomb dropping down from above but radioactive waste creeping up from below? Will art come to our rescue then?