science elements

The Vanishing Flights of the Monarch Butterfly

The Vanishing Flights of the Monarch Butterfly

Sue Halpern writes about the threats to vanishing monarch butterfly populations as they attempt their yearly migration to Mexico.
A Different Kind of Theory of Everything

A Different Kind of Theory of Everything

Natalie Wolchover writes about physicists’ effort to find laws that explain the physical world and the nature of the universe.
A Whale’s Afterlife

A Whale’s Afterlife

Jeffrey Marlow writes about the strange marine ecosystems that grew around a whale fall, in the Pacific Ocean, known as Rosebud.
“Reverse Innovation” Could Save Lives. Why Aren’t We Embracing It?

“Reverse Innovation” Could Save Lives. Why Aren’t We Embracing It?

Tom Vanderbilt writes about “reverse innovation” in medical technology, where solutions devised to overcome the resource constraints in developing countries are then adopted in wealthier countries
A Study on Driverless-Car Ethics Offers a Troubling Look Into Our Values

A Study on Driverless-Car Ethics Offers a Troubling Look Into Our Values

Caroline Lester on a game called “Moral Machine,” and an effort to determine what driverless cars should do if faced with a version of the trolley problem.
The Ghost Statistic That Haunts Women’s Empowerment

The Ghost Statistic That Haunts Women’s Empowerment

Kathryn Moeller writes on how the international development strategy of investing in girls and women instead of men does little to address the underlying conditions that produce poverty and
Peter Matthiessen’s “The Snow Leopard” in the Age of Climate Change

Peter Matthiessen’s “The Snow Leopard” in the Age of Climate Change

M. R. O’Connor writes on “The Snow Leopard,” Peter Matthiessen’s account of searching for the reclusive animal in the Himalayas, and how the Zen Buddhism philosophies within it can help clarify the
How the Artificial Intelligence Program AlphaZero Mastered Its Games

How the Artificial Intelligence Program AlphaZero Mastered Its Games

James Somers on AlphaZero, an artificial-intelligence program animated by an algorithm so powerful that you could give it the rules of humanity’s richest and most studied games and, later that day, it
The Woolly Mammoth Lumbers Back into View

The Woolly Mammoth Lumbers Back into View

Rachel Riederer writes about the optimism of de-extinction science in the age of climate change, by examining the work of Stewart Brand and George Church, and the book “The Re-Origin of Species,” by
Chasing the World’s Most Endangered Turtle

Chasing the World’s Most Endangered Turtle

Brent Crane writes about the Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), of which only four remain, in Vietnam.
The Neurons That Tell Time

The Neurons That Tell Time

Ingfei Chen writes about the theory that neurons in the brain are creating “timestamps” that record the order of unfolding events.
The Kilogram’s Long, Slow Climb to Harmony

The Kilogram’s Long, Slow Climb to Harmony

Scott Sayare on how the effort by scientists to establish a new standard for the kilogram will inherit the flaws of its predecessors, just as it inherits their aspirations to harmony and truth.
After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside

After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside

Noam Cohen on Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and his decision to step aside following complaints of abusive behavior toward programmers, and particularly women, who work on the system.
The Startup Whiz Trying to Make Big Business out of Social Philanthropy

The Startup Whiz Trying to Make Big Business out of Social Philanthropy

Nathan Heller writes about Ankur Jain, an entrepreneur who reflects the technology sector’s recent drift toward a new form of social self-awareness.
We May Never Understand the Ocean-Wide Damage Done by Industrial Whaling

We May Never Understand the Ocean-Wide Damage Done by Industrial Whaling

Peter Brannen writes about Nick Pyenson’s book “Spying on Whales,” about the evolution of whales, and how twentieth-century whaling decimated their populations around the world.
How Climate Change Contributed to This Summer’s Wildfires

How Climate Change Contributed to This Summer’s Wildfires

Carolyn Kormann writes about the record-shattering heat waves and unprecedented wildfires that are occurring throughout the Northern Hemisphere this summer, and how they are related to Arctic warming

How to Fight Crime with Your Television

Alan Burdick writes about a new study by two social-science researchers at the University of California at Davis, who found that crime rates in Chicago fell by as much as twenty-five per cent during

Glimpses of a Mass Extinction in Modern-Day Western New York

Peter Brannan on mass extinction and the fossil remnants of the Devonian period in modern-day New York.

Why African-American Doctors Are Choosing to Study Medicine in Cuba

Anakwa Dwamena writes that E.L.A.M., a medical school on the outskirts of Havana, is enticing prospective American medical students—predominantly black and Latino—to pursue medicine without incurring

The Terrifying Lessons of a Pandemic Simulation

Nicola Twilley on the daylong pandemic simulation, called “Clade X,” that was held by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in May, and included current and former government and health