Silhouettes of people in a line wearing masks and practicing social distancing

How the Public Health Community Prepares for Pandemics

Public healthcare experts have been anticipating and planning for a pandemic like COVID-19 for years. These research reports and scholarly articles explain how.
Two men wearing and advocating the use of flu masks in Paris during the Spanish flu epidemic, 1919

What’s the Difference between Pandemic, Epidemic, and Outbreak?

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. What exactly does that mean?
An illustration of vitamin pills

How Dietary Supplements Can Cause More Harm Than Good

The real problem with useless vitamins and other supplements? A psychological side effect known as "illusory invulnerability."
A woman with a protective mask in a plane

Do Airplanes Really Make You Sick?

A Curious Reader asks: Am I really at a higher risk of getting sick on an airplane?
An empty bottle for opium tincture

When Doctors Took Opiates To Gain Credibility

Long before today's opioid epidemic, doctors shared stories of their own experiments with the drugs they prescribed their patients.
Rachel Carson Conducts Marine Biology Research with Bob Hines

Rachel Carson’s Critics Called Her a Witch

When Silent Spring was published, the response was overtly gendered. Rachel Carson's critics depicted her as hysterical, mystical, and witchy.
Ignaz Semmelweis

The Man Who Invented Modern Infection Control

He's hailed as the "father of infection control" and the "savior of mothers," but the truth about Ignaz Semmelweis is more complicated than that.
Child poverty

Why Equality Matters More Than Income

Looking at children’s wellbeing in rich countries like the U.S. in 2007, scholars found that inequality may matter a lot more for kids’ lives than absolute income level.
Power plant

Why Air Pollution Is a Socioeconomic Issue

Too much pollution can pose a health risk to anyone, but whether it is lethal or not mostly depends on the person's underlying health—and economic—status.