35 articles
  • eiffel earthquake_HERO


    7 Ways Humans Have Tried to Predict Earthquakes

    Humans have been trying to predict earthquakes at least since first-century China, when the device of choice was a vessel fitted with metal dragons facing each compass direction. If the ground shook somewhere in the region, the metal ball in the dragon’s mouth would drop out, roughly indicating the direction of the earthquake. Our methods […]

  • tinnitus_HERO


    50 Million Tinnitus Sufferers Just Got Some Bad News and Some Good News

    Fifteen years ago, almost as soon as she arrived in the Cleveland suburbs, her hometown, a high-pitched ringing disturbed Katie Hellmuth Martin’s sense of peace. She was looking forward to settling into the gentle sounds of summer she’d grown up with: birdcalls during the day, the relaxing cadence of crickets at night. Instead, her respite […]

  • Article Image


    Aristotle at the Gigafactory: Why Physics Is a Philosophy

    On Friday, in Storey County, Nevada, a woman at Tesla’s Gigafactory inauguration hollered, “Beam me up, Elon!” Elon Musk, the electric car company’s chief executive officer, had just taken the stage along with J.B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer. “Okay, we’re working on that one,” Musk gamely replied before saying: “Alright—welcome everyone to the Gigafactory […]

  • wood dice_HERO


    Politicians Need to Understand This Computer Science Concept Better

    I have an idea that would keep 100 percent of foreign-born terrorists out of the United States. Not only that, it’s far simpler than any presidential candidate’s proposals. All we have to do is this: Never let anybody in. Most of us find this idea ludicrous, of course, and rightly so. Keeping out terrorists is […]

  • angry ape_HERO


    Angry Apes “Flick” Each Other Off. Is That Where We Got Our Gesture?

    One evening last spring, I sat down at the American Museum of Natural History’s 85th annual James Arthur lecture, in New York, on the evolution of the brain. This year’s speaker was Richard Byrne, who studies the evolution of cognitive and social behavior, particularly gestural communication in the great apes, at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews. He […]

  • replicate science_HERO


    We Should Not Accept Scientific Results That Have Not Been Repeated

    A few years ago, I became aware of serious problem in science: the irreproducibility crisis. A group of researchers at Amgen, an American pharmaceutical company, attempted to replicate 53 landmark cancer discoveries in close collaboration with the authors. Many of these papers were published in high-impact journals and came from prestigious academic institutions. To the […]