Science and Technology

bright brain

How neuroscientist Tali Sharot accidentally stumbled on what’s known as “the optimism bias” — our hard-wired belief that our future will be better than our past or present.More

forest

Claire Peaslee is a naturalist who lives in Point Reyes, California, a place decimated by recent forest fires that sits literally on top of the San Andreas Fault. Yet she finds hope there through pilgrimage.More

Tree

Richard Powers’ “The Overstory” is overturning a lot of conventional thinking. It’s been called “visionary” and “monumental” — and it earned him the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. Though human characters shape the plot of this 500-page epic, the real heroes are trees.More

The first image of a black hole.

In The New York Times, Yale astrophysicist Priya Natarajan wrote, "Images from the Event Horizon Telescope have the potential to redefine the cosmos once again, and prompt wonder and curiosity about our place in it." Steve spoke with Natarajan about the search for invisible parts of the universe, dark matter, and the mind-boggling nature of black holes.More

The Len-Der, our boat for the Milwaukee River

Milwaukee historian John Gurda takes us on a boat ride down the Milwaukee River as we learn how the city nearly lost its river, and what Milwaukee is now doing to preserve it.More

Elizabeth Feinler, Radia Perlman, and Stacy Horn.

You know the Apple origin story with the two Steves in the garage. You know the Facebook origin story with Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm. But journalist Claire Evans argues, if you want to tell the internet origin story, you have to talk about women.More

Gorilla

What separates your mind from an animal's? It's a question we've all asked, but renowned primatologist Frans de Waal says there's no point trying to rank who's smarter or dumber in the animal world. In fact, he believes there's no clear dividing line between humans and the rest of the animal world.More

Zoe Quinn

Game developer Zoe Quinn on how her game "Depression Quest" brought a torrent of harassment and abuse to her doorstep. She tells Anne about the steps she took to protect herself, and why she's still optimistic about the potential for living and working online.More

Apps

Sara Wachter-Boettcher warns that failing to account for the unintended ways technology shapes our lives can cause us pain that might be avoided if we think about how we design digital platforms and apps differently.More

A globe with political boundaries

"To The Best Of Our Knowledge" talked to artist Molly Crabapple, economist Bryan Caplan and global strategist Parag Khanna about the differing ways they came to the same conclusion: that borders have become an outdated concept.More

Alex Honnold

He may have already conquered El Capitan, but Alex Honnold can dream up far more daring and dangerous adventures.More

Galactic kidneys

Missy Makinia donated her kidney to whoever might need it. Her transplant surgeon — Josh Mezrich — invited Shannon into his operating room to see firsthand what it takes to remove and transport a human kidney.More

The amazing brain, without a horn.

Gavin Francis is fascinated by the complexity and beauty of the human body, which is so finely engineered that it can seem almost miraculous.More

Broken body

Porochista Khakpour has been fighting a mystery illness for as long as she can remember. Eventually, she got a diagnosis — late-stage Lyme disease — but a diagnosis hasn't given her much resolution.More

The creative mind

Novelist Siri Hustvedt knows how the creative process feels. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin knows what it looks like in the brain. Together with Steve, they explore the emerging science of creativity.More

Cox was the first person to complete a 1.2 mile swim in Antarctica, from the ship Orlova to Neko Harbor in 25 minutes.

Lynne Cox is an extreme swimmer. At 18, she swam between the islands of New Zealand. She broke the men's and women's records for the English Channel. Then she did the unthinkable — swimming to Antarctica.More

A lonely Antartic landscape.

In 1993, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge became the first person to cross Antarctica alone. It took him 50 days. The thing that had the biggest impact on him was the silence.More

The IceCube Lab at the South Pole

Francis Halzen, the lead scientist of the IceCube Neutrino Detector, explains how light sensors buried deep in the ice at the South Pole detected a neutrino that traveled four billion light-years.More

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