Plant of the Month: London Rocket
London rocket was observed in abundance following the Great Fire of London in 1666, but why does this non-native weed still interest English botanists?
Eight Women Astronomers You Should Know
A guided tour of selected luminaries of astronomy, from Ancient Greece to today.
The Wellcome Collection—Perfect Medicine for the Incurably Curious
Pharmacy genius, Henry Solomon Wellcome amassed a lot of knowledge—and amazing tchotchkes too.
Isinglass; or, The Many Miracles of Fish Glue
Isinglass comes from the swim bladders of certain kinds of fish and can be found in everything from beer recipes to illuminated manuscripts. Ew? No way.
When Asbestos Was a Gift Fit for a King
File under: “don’t try this at home.”
The Amoral Scientist
Fritz Haber was a chemist who made discoveries that improved global agriculture… but also helped spawn the modern era of chemical warfare.
How Medical Researchers Used to Party
There’s always been some fuzziness in our distinctions between medicine and recreational drugs. Just look at nitrous oxide.
Prince Rupert’s Drops of Mystery
400 years of trying to solve the mystery of Prince Rupert's Drops, bizarrely hard beads of glass that have long captivated scientists.
Joseph Lister’s Antiseptic Revolution
Joseph Lister's landmark articles on antiseptic surgery in the Lancet were published 150 years ago. The revolution was not immediate.
The Surprising Historical Significance of Fortune-Telling
The possible futures predicted by fortune-telling happen just often enough to tantalize, preying on our deepest aspirations of catching a "big break."