• Mingarelli_HERO-2

    The Gravity Wave Hunter

    An astrophysicist sits down with Nautilus to discuss cosmology and culture.

  • Paliwal-HERO

    Why Are Wheelchairs More Stigmatized Than Glasses?

    Improving the lives of disabled people is more than an engineering project.

  • Eck_HERO

    How Do You Say “Life” in Physics?

    A new theory sheds light on the emergence of life’s complexity.

  • divination ritual

    The Secret of Our Evolutionary Success Is Faith

    The staunch atheist and essayist Christopher Hitchens once said that “the most overrated of the virtues is faith.” It’s a reasonable conclusion if you believe, as the astrophysicist Carl Sagan did, that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”1 To believe something without evidence—or have faith—is, in their view, something to avoid (and, when called for, to […]

  • sMars doctor

    What It’s Like to Be the Only Doctor in Space

    Commander Carmel Johnston gives Chief Science Officer Christiane Heinicke a hand.Photograph by Sheyna Gifford Space is no place to be alone. On Earth, it may be uncomfortable, even oppressive—but by itself, being alone isn’t life-threatening. A person alone in space, however, is definitively lost: dead, or about to be.  On simulated Mars—the slopes of a […]

  • oxford union uniform

    Yes, It Matters What You Wear to an Exam

    In May 2015, an official vote was held by the Oxford University Student Union about clothing policy. It was over whether to keep “subfusc,” a traditional uniform dating back to the mid-seventeenth century—comprised of a dark suit or skirt, black shoes, white shirt, and a white or black bow tie or ribbon—mandatory for exams. The […]

  • Gross_HERO-anim

    When You Listen to Music, You’re Never Alone

    Technology hasn’t diminished the social quality of listening to music.

  • Watson_HERO-1

    Biosphere—The Remake

    This time the test is Earth’s own ecological future.

  • Carrol_HERO-2

    The Ecologist Who Threw Starfish

    Robert Paine showed us the surprising importance of predators.

  • fighting ants

    What Darwin Overlooked About Fighting Female Animals

    Queen ants fight dirty. With their powerful jaws, they clamp down on ­each other, ripping through exoskeleton and vital flesh—a fight to the death. The spoils of victory include the deceased’s entire colony.  The queen with the broader head and stronger jaws is most likely to win. When we think of animal weapons—antlers, tusks, horns, […]