Science and Technology

Fruit bodies of the fungus Psilocybe pelliculosa

After the excesses of the 1960s — and an ensuing moral panic — psychedelic research was outlawed by the United States government for decades. But today, the research is blossoming as a promising treatment for depression and anxiety.More

Math of the universe

For centuries, people have considered mathematics the purest form of knowledge — and our best bet for deciphering the universe's hidden order. Steve spoke with two people who love math: physicist James Gates and science writer Margaret Wertheim.More

Eel

Eels are philosophically and scientifically slippery — they're still some of the most mysterious creatures on the planet. Journalist Patrik Svensson has been obsessed with them, and wound up writing a surprise bestseller — “The Book of Eels.”More

fish

Lulu Miller's book “Why Fish Don’t Exist” — which examines ichthyologist David Starr Jordan — is a meditation on the shadow side of scientific classification, and the dangers of trying too hard to impose order on chaos.More

Putting aside the question of whether there's any validity to it, the ancient science of astrology has a lot in common with contemporary data science. In fact, data scientist Alexander Boxer calls astrology humanity’s very first set of algorithms.More

A bee's communication infrastructure

Tania Munz recently wrote a biography of Karl von Frisch — the German scientist who cracked the mystery of the honeybee’s waggle dance, which shows the rest of the hive precisely where to find a new food source miles away.More

Detroit Hives

In many parts of Detroit, there are blighted, abandoned patches of land. Instead of looking the other way, Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey started buying up vacant lots and building bee hives as an act of urban renewal.More

many bees

Christof Koch, a leading neuroscientist in the field of consciousness, says bees are smarter than we ever imagined.More

Where Heather and the bees converse

A single empty yellow chair sits next to Heather Swan’s tall, buzzing beehive in her backyard in Madison, Wisconsin. Swan keeps it there to sit next to the bees — some 60,000 insects —and talk with them.More

Opening the hive

Heather Swan is a beekeeper and author — she tells Steve Paulson about what it's meant for her to be "chosen by the bees."More

people

Social scientists are finding that generating happiness in your life may have less to do with an arbitrary number — like your bank account or how many Instagram followers you have — and more to do with how well you connect with the people around you.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

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

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

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