Science and Technology

Adam Kucharski virus graphic

The COVID-19 pandemic was some epidemiologist’s nightmare when Adam Kucharski was writing "Rules of Contagion." The book, which includes brief mentions of the encroaching COVID-19 storm, draws on ideas from “outbreak science” to illuminate how and why viruses spread. Kucharski believes we’re still in the early stages—not even the mid-point—of this global pandemic.More

man playing guitar

Famous for his stories of people with brain disorders, Oliver Sacks wrote a lot about neurological mysteries, like the way a song can activate parts of the brain that language can’t even touch.More

Aerial roots.

There is an unusual, giant corn in southern Mexico that gets its own nitrogen from the air — no manufacturing required.More

Clockwise: Wheat in a field, flint corn, kamut grains, and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Most of us get our food from the grocery store, not the fields where it grows. But if you really want to understand where our food comes from — and the potential threats to the food supply — you have to think about seeds.More

The many realities

How do you know what’s real? Start with your senses — if you can see, touch, hear or taste something, it’s real — right? Not necessarily, according to cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman and neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan.More

a view of the Manhattan skyline from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens.

One of the greatest walkers of our time, William Helmreich — known for exploring every street in New York City — was an early casualty of COVID-19. But composer David Rothenberg got to walk with him one last time, around wetlands in Queens.More

Andreas Weber in the Grunewald Forest in Berlin, Germany.

Andreas Weber is a German biologist and philosopher with a highly unconventional way of describing the natural world, one in which "love" is a foundational principle of biology.More

sky

Magician Nate Staniforth has a dangerous idea for you. Tonight, after dark, go outside and look up to the sky.More

Magic mushrooms and our primate ancestors

Magic mushrooms go way back in human history. Some people even believe psychedelic mushrooms helped create human consciousness. We examine the "Stoned Ape Theory."More

Writer Eugenia Bone’s obsession with mushrooms began with her love of eating them. She shares notes from her hunts for morels as well as three recipes for how to best enjoy fungal delicacies. More

A still from "Fantastic Fungi." (Moving Art)

Fungi contain vast, untapped potential, says Louie Schwartzberg — to remediate pollution, reverse climate change, even address chronic disease and mental disorder — something he argues in his film "Fantastic Fungi."More

Mushrooms on a tree

Paul Stamets may be the most passionate mycologist on the planet. He tells Steve why new medicines and technologies derived from mushrooms might save life as we know it.More

plant

Plants are intelligent beings with profound wisdom to impart—if only we know how to listen. And Monica Gagliano knows how to listen.More

woman

Skin color is loaded with assumptions about race and identity, but skin itself has its own fascinating history. Steve Paulson spoke with anthropologist Nina Jablonski to find out more.More

Daily touch is about moving your skin, which can come from exercise, daily routine, or just the embrace of the ones we're in quarantine with.

What happens when an entire nation is social distancing and avoiding contact? Dr. Tiffany Field, founder and director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School, tells Anne about the power of therapeutic touch. More

brain light

Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist says most neuroscientists have downplayed the differences between the left and right sides of the brain. He says he thinks the left hemisphere has become so dominant in Western culture that we're losing the sense of what makes us human.More

TTBOOK

Are we witnessing the birth of a new "dark green religion"?More

Why is filmmaker Errol Morris is still outraged by the famous philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn?More

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