Laura Bassi, Enlightenment Scientist
The Italian physicist and philosopher was the first woman to earn a doctorate in science and the first salaried female professor at a university.
From the light-bulb dress to galvanic belts, electrified clothing offered a way to experience and conquer a mysterious and vigorous force.
The Marvelous Experiments of Amateur Plant Breeders
Over 100 years ago, a horticulturalist introduced hybrid plants to California gardeners. Up sprouted a movement of amateur experiments in plant biology.
Treating Wounds With Magic
Spoiler alert: It doesn't work.
The Souls of Magnets
Lodestones are dull, lumpy, and slate-gray, but their “magnetic intelligence” made them fabulously expensive.
The Curious Voyage of HMS Endeavour
Captain James Cook had secret orders to to search for a predicted Southern Continent. He ended up claiming New Zealand and part of Australia for the U.K.
Why Victorian Gardeners Loathed Magenta
For decades, British and American gardeners avoided magenta flowers. The color had associations with the unnatural and the poisonous.
The Magic Lantern Shows that Influenced Modern Horror
Eighteenth and early nineteenth century audiences were delighted and horrified by these spectral apparitions conjured in dark rooms.
An Eclipse is a Scientific Bonanza
On August 21, 2017, North America’s first total solar eclipse in a while will cross the center of the United States from East to West.
Mary Somerville, Queen of 19th Century Science
Mary Somerville, one of the first women scientists and science writers, came to be known after her death as the "queen of 19th century science."