Latest Stories

the rollercoaster of democracy
Articles

Historian Jeremi Suri places our present moment into a larger context — and uses the ups and downs of history to theorize what might lie ahead of us.

Length: 
12:36
Vote mural
Articles

Constitutional scholar and law professor Kim Wehle says democracy itself is on the ballot this year. What can you do about it? Vote.

Length: 
15:42
Brain activity
Articles

After months of isolation, the COVID-19 lockdown is rewiring your brain. Neuroscientist David Eagleman says our brains are continually in flux, responding to the surrounding world. And the silver lining of coronavirus? It's probably boosting your creativity.

Length: 
14:46
neon brain
Articles

Writers are used to working in isolation. So how are they responding to the COVID-19 lockdown? Ilan Stavans has edited an anthology of international writing to consider the question. Stavans himself says the pandemic has liberated him as a writer.

Length: 
13:54
Phineas Gage
Photo Gallery

In 1848 Phineas Gage suffered a gruesome accident. BIasting through rock to build a new railroad in Vermont, an explosion sent a 3-foot, 13-pound iron rod straight through his skull. Remarkably, Gage lived, but brain science changed forever.

Length: 
19:04
chimpanzee
Sonic Sidebar

In 1960, a young primatologist stared deeply into the eyes of a wild chimpanzee. She was Jane Goodall. He was David Greybeard. Their mutual gaze changed animal science forever.

Length: 
2:32
osprey
Sonic Sidebar

Locking eyes with another creature in the wild can be a profound experience. For physicist and writer Alan Lightman, half a second of eye contact with a pair of ospreys felt like an epiphany.

Length: 
2:24
crocodile eye
Audio

The feminist eco-philosopher Val Plumwood was one of the few people to survive a crocodile's death roll. The attack reoriented her thinking about life, death, and what it means to be human.

Length: 
8:20
"Birds Watching." Printed reflective film mounted on aluminum on steel frame.
Photo Gallery

In Chicago, writer Gavin Van Horn and environmental artist Jenny Kendler visit her new art installation, which confronts viewers with the gaze of 100 giant bird eyes. It's meant to provoke curiosity, wonder, and awareness of how many non-human eyes are always watching us.

Length: 
15:24
owl
Audio

Dogs, cats, birds, frogs, even insects watch us. Each with a different kind of eye. What, and how, do they see? Ivan Schwab is an ophthalmologist who’s been fascinated by that question for a long time.

Length: 
7:44