Governor William Burnet of New York meets with the Iroquois in 1721

The Native American Roots of the U.S. Constitution

The Iroquois, Shawnee, Cherokee, and other political formations generally separated military and civil leadership and guarded certain personal freedoms.
Psilocybe Cubensis

The Nice Married Couple Who Inspired People to ’Shroom

In the 1950s, Gordon and Valentina Wasson encountered magic mushrooms. Then they wouldn't stop talking about them.
Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu

Chien-Shiung Wu, the First Lady of Physics 

Chien-Shiung Wu disproved a fundamental law of physics—a stunning achievement that helped earn her male colleagues (but not her) a Nobel Prize.
Charles David Keeling & George W. Bush, 2001

How Charles Keeling Measured the Rise of Carbon Dioxide

The climate scientist created a new method to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide. It's still used today.
An illustration of sunspots from between 1885 and 1890

Do Sunspots Explain Global Recession, War, or Famine?

Maybe it's something about the number eleven?
An illustration of four people standing and wearing masks

Choosing Love over Eugenics

Some writers see contagion as a metaphor for community—proof that we exist within an interdependent network and not as autonomous disconnected islands.
Jennifer Nuzzo

Jennifer Nuzzo: “We’re Definitely Not Overreacting” to COVID-19

Johns Hopkins epidemiologist and infectious disease expert Jennifer Nuzzo on why vaccines aren’t the answer, how COVID-19 is unique, and how to stay safe.
American and European trading vessels in the Pearl River at Canton in southern China.

The First U.S.-China Trade Deal

The Treaty of Wanghia formalized the burgeoning ties between the two countries, opening the door to new commercial and cultural exchanges.
A meteor striking earth

How to Avoid a Meteor

It isn’t likely that Earth will be hit by a large meteor, but if it were, the results would be catastrophic.
sargassum seaweed dumped on beach

The Great Seaweed Invasion

In the Caribbean, sargassum deposits have grown to unprecedented sizes, obscuring the sand and turning nearshore waters into seething sargassum soup.